My Li f
h -lit ,
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FROM THE LIBRARY OF
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON. D. D,
BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO
THE LIBRARY OF
PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Princeton Theological Seminary Library
IRA D. SANKEY
^<i OF Ph!^
MY LIFE AND THE STORY
OF THE GOSPEL HYMNS
JAN 22 1933
c^nd of SACRED SONGS AND SOLOS
By IRA D. SANKEY
With a.n Introduction by
THEODORE U CUYLER
P. W. ZIEGLER CO,
Copyright, 1906, by The Sunday School Times Company.
Copyright, 1907, by The Sunday School Times Company.
Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, 1906.
Entered according to the Act of Parliament of Canada, in the
year 1906, by The Sunday School Times Company
at the Department of Agriculture,
Nachdruck verboten, Uebersetzungs Recht vorbehalten.
The deep interest I have always taken in the sub-
ject of hymnology, and my warm personal affection
for the author of this volume, are my warrant for be-
speaking for it a warm and hearty welcome. If ever a
man was raised and endowed for a special work by
our Divine Master, that man is Ira D. Sankey. His
work has been of a twofold character. Before his day
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs had always
been an important part of the services of religious
worship throughout Christendom.
But he introduced a peculiar style of popular
hymns which are calculated to awaken the careless,
to melt the hardened, and to guide inquiring souls to
the Lord Jesus Christ. In the next place, he sang
these powerful revival-hymns himself, and became
as effective a preacher of the gospel of salvation by
song as his associate, Dwight L. Moody, was by ser-
mon. The multitudes who heard his rich and inspir-
ing voice in "The Ninety and Nine," "Jesus of
Nazareth Passeth By" and "When the Mists Have
Rolled Away" will testify to the prodigious power with
which the Holy Spirit gave him utterance. While he
has had many successors, he was the pioneer.
This position which our beloved Brother Sankey
holds before the whole Christian world fitted him to
prepare such a volume a? this valuable addition to
hymnology. It is the simple but sublime story of the
quickening, converting and sanctifying power of sacred
song. It adds a new and thrilling chapter to the tri-
umph of the Cross. It is a precious legacy by a faith-
ful veteran of Jesus Christ to his fellow-soldiers in all
lands who are battling for the cause and crown of the
glorious Captain of our salvation, and who "wait for
Theodore L. Cuyler.
Brooklyn, New York,
Since Moses and the children of Israel, on the
shore of the Red Sea, sang of their deliverance from
the hand of Pharaoh, saying : *' I will sing unto the
Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and
his rider hath he thrown into the sea," there has
never been any great religious movement without the
use of sacred song. Luther set all Germany ablaze
with religious enthusiasm as he sang his magnificent
hymn, "Ein' Feste Burg," in which Melanchthon and
multitudes of Christian soldiers joined. In later
years the church of God was thrilled by the sermons
of John Wesley and the songs of his brother Charles,
whose hymns are more extensively used throughout
Christendom than any others. After the Wesleys
came Charles G. Finney, who, although he did not
use the service of song as much as others, yet as a
preacher was one of the mightiest men of his day.
Later came E. P. Hammond, the children's evan-
gelist, who gave the praise service an especially im-
portant place in his work.
Then, in 1873, God was pleased to send Mr.
Moody and myself to Great Britain, where a work
vi ' Preface
of grace was begun that has continued until the pres-
ent day. About the same time Whittle and Bliss were
doing a remarkable work in the United States, Bliss
becoming one of the greatest song-evangelists of that
age. For the last two or three years we have had the
splendid campaign of Torrey and Alexander in Aus-
tralia, Great Britain and America. In their work the
prominent feature has been the use of praise, their
most popular hymn being "The Glory Song," which
perhaps is the most generally used Gospel song of
We all agree with what Dr. Pentecost has said re-
garding the power of sacred song : *'I am profoundly
sure that among the divinely ordained instrumental-
ities for the conversion and sanctification of the soul,
God has not given a greater, besides the preaching of
the Gospel, than the singing of psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs. I have known a hymn to do God's
work in a soul when every other instrumentality has
failed. I could not enumerate the times God has
rescued and saved my soul from darkness, discourage-
ment and weariness by the singing of a hymn, gener-
ally by bringing one to my own heart and causing me
to sing it to myself. It would be easy to fill many
pages with interesting facts in connection with the use
of hymns in the public worship of the house of God.
I have seen vast audiences melted and swayed by a
simple hymn when they have been unmoved by a pow-
erful presentation of the Gospel from the pulpit."
For many years past I have been collecting and
writing up the history of hymns, and incidents con-
nected with their composition and their use by Mr.
Moody and myself, as well as by others ; but in 1901,
when the manuscript of these stories was almost com-
pleted, it was unfortunately destroyed in the fire that
devastated the great Sanitarium at Battle Creek,
Michigan, where I was at that time a guest of my
friend Dr. J. H. Kellogg. In view of the regret which
was expressed by my friends over this loss, and the
interest taken by the people who sing our hymns, I
decided to rewrite the story from memory, as far as I
I am indebted to the Rev. John Julian, the Rev.
S. W. Duffield and the Rev. E. S. Lorenz, from whose
works I have collected some dates and incidents ; also
to my faithful secretary, Mr. Charles G. Rosewall, for
aid in compiling and writing this book. In the prep-
aration of the old original manuscript I was espe-
cially indebted to my friend, Mr. Oliver H. Shiras,
for his able assistance.
Ira D. Sankey.
Brooklyn, New York,
Portrait of Ira D. Sankey, ....
Portrait of D. L. Moody ....
Mr. Sankey in Spurgeon's Tabernacle, London
Mr. Sankey at the Organ ....
Front View of Mr. Sankey's Brooklyn Home
Side View of Mr. Sankey's Home
Mr. Sankey's Home at Northfield
Portrait of James McGranahan
Portrait of John R. Sweney ....
Portrait of George C. Stebbins
Portrait of P. P. Bliss
Portrait of Wm. G. Fischer ....
Portrait of Major D. W. Whittle
Portrait of Hubert P. Main
Portrait of Robert Lowry ....
Moody and Sankey Planting Trees in Scotland
Portrait of Sir Arthur Sullivan .
Portrait of Fanny J. Crosby ....
Portrait of W. H. Doanb ....
Portrait OF D. B. Towner ....
Portrait of Charles M. Alexander
Portrait of W. J. Kirkpatrick
Mr. Sankey with Egyptian ....
Moody and Sankey with the Northfield Choir
OF HIS OWN LIFE
SANKEY'S STORY OF HIS
I was born in the village of Edinburg, on the
Mahoning River in Western Pennsylvania, August
The first hymn I remember having heard was
from the lips of my beloved mother, when, as a child,
she sang me to sleep with the strains of that sweet
"Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber.
Holy angels guard thy bed."
As a boy, it was one of my chief joys to meet
with other members of our family around the great
log fire in the old homestead, and spend the long
winter evenings singing with them the good old
hymns and tunes of the church, which was the only
music we had in those days. When at home, my
father would frequently join us in these evenings of
sacred song, singing a splendid bass, while other
members of the family carried the other parts. In
this way I learned to read music, and when I was
about eight years old I could sing correctly such tunes
as St. Martin's, Belmont, Coronation, etc.
The church to which I belonged was situated
14 Sankey's Story
several miles from our home, but my fondness for
singing led me to be a regular attendant.
I received the usual school privileges which fell
to the lot of boys and girls of those days. The very
first recollection I have of anything pertaining to a
holy life was in connection with a Mr. Frazer. I recall
how he took me by the hand and led me with his own
children to the Sunday-school held in the old school-
house. I shall remember this to my dying day. He
had a warm heart and the children all loved him. It
was not until some years after that I was converted,
at the age of sixteen, while attending revival meetings
at a church known as The King's Chapel, about three
miles from my home, but my first impressions were
received from that man when I was very young.
In 1857 our family removed to Newcastle, where
my father assumed the presidency of the bank. Here
I attended the high school, where every opportunity
was given to study such of the higher branches as the
student might have a taste for, and later I took a posi-
tion in the bank. On arriving at Newcastle I joined
the Methodist Episcopal Church. Soon I was elected
superintendent of the Sunday-school and leader of the
When I first took charge of the singing it was
thought by many of the church members that the use
of an organ, or any kind of musical instrument to
Of His Own Life 15
accompany the voices of the singers, was wicked and
worldly. The twanging of an old tuning-fork on the
back of a hymn-book was not objected to, nor the
running of the whole gamut in subdued voice to find
the proper key, nor the choir trying to get the proper
note to their respective parts in the never-to-be-
forgotten, "Do, Mi, Sol, Mi, Do," before beginning the
hymn. For several years we kept on in this way,
but by and by we found that the majority were in
favor of having an organ in the choir. I shall never
forget the day on which the organ was first intro-
duced. I had the honor of presiding at the instru-
ment, and I remember well how carefully I played the
opening piece. Only one or two of the old members
left the church during the singing. It was reported
that an old man who left the church on account of
the introduction of the organ, was seen on his dray
the next day, driving through the main street of the
town, seated on the top of a large casket of rum, sing-
ing at the top of his voice :
"A charge to keep I have," etc.
It was here that I began to make special use of
my voice in song, and in this way, though uncon-
sciously, I was making preparation for the work in
which I was to spend my life.
When about twenty years of age I went to Farm-
ingtown, Ohio, to attend a musical convention, con-
1 6 Sankefs Story
ducted by Mr. Bradbury. On my return home, my
father said to mother : " I am afraid that boy will
never amount to anything ; all he does is to run about
the country with a hymn-book under his arm."
Mother replied that she would rather see me with a
hymn-book under my arm than with a whisky bottle
in my pocket.
In the spring of i860, on the call of President
Lincoln for men to sustain the Government, I was
among the first in Newcastle to have my name en-
rolled as a soldier. My company was sent to Mary-
land. Religious services were held in the camp, and
I often led the singing. I soon found several other
young men who could render the same service. In
a short time the people around us also learned that
there were some singers in the Union camp, and we
were frequently invited out by families who had heard
of the singing of the "boys in blue."
I remember with what astonishment the Southern
people heard some of our soldier boys play the piano
in their beautiful homes. The singing of some of the
old-time "home songs" seemed to dispel all feeling
of enmity. We were always treated with the utmost
hospitality and kindness, and many friendships were
formed that lasted until long after the war was ended.
I organized a male choir in the company to which I
belonged, and we would frequently be called upon to
Of His Own Life 17
assist the chaplain in conducting the religious services
of the camp.
At the expiration of my term as a soldier I did
not re-enter the army, but returned to Newcastle to
assist my father, who had been appointed by Abraham
Lincoln as a collector of internal revenue.
In 1863, on the 9th of September, I married a
member of my choir — Miss Fanny V. Edwards, a
daughter of the Hon. John Edwards. She has been a
blessing and a helpmate to me throughout my life and
in all my work.
My services as a singer were utilized in Western
Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio for Sunday-school
conventions and political gatherings. In 1867, when
I was twenty-seven years old, a branch of the Young
Men's Christian Association was organized at New-
castle, of which I was at that time elected secretary
and later president. The first meetings were held
in a small hired room. From that modest begin-
ning, by the help of God, I was later enabled to give
to the city a Young Men's Christian Association build-
ing, including gymnasium, librar}^ and bathrooms, in
all costing more than $40,000, by means of money
realized from the sale of "Gospel Hymns." Not far
from this building, on Jefferson street, I bought a
beautiful lot for my old church, on which to erect a
new structure, and later I assisted Bishop Vincent to
1 8 Sankeys Story
raise the necessary funds, so that the new church was
dedicated without any debt. My father and mother
were members of this church until they passed away.
In 1870, with two or three others, I was ap-
pointed a delegate to the International Convention of
the Association, to be held at Indianapolis that year.
For several years I had read in the religious
press about Mr. Moody, and I was therefore pleased
when I learned that he would be at the convention,
being a delegate from the Chicago Association. For
a couple of days I was disappointed in neither seeing
nor hearing him. At several of the annual conven-
tions prior to this occasion, it had been the custom to
select Moody as chairman, but now it was decided
that some one else should occupy the chair, and
Moody therefore took a seat among the other dele-
gates on the floor. However, late on a Saturday
afternoon, it was announced that Moody of Chicago
would lead a six o'clock morning prayer-meeting in
the Baptist Church. I was rather late, and therefore
sat down near the door with a Presbyterian minister,
the Rev. Robert McMillan, a delegate from my own
county, who said to me, ''Mr. Sankey, the singing
here has been abominable ; I wish you would start up
something when that man stops praying, if he ever
does." I promised to do so, and whesj opportunity
offered I started the familiar hymn, ^There is a
D. L. MOODY
Of His Own Life 21
•fountain filled with blood." The congregation joined
heartily and a brighter aspect seemed to be given to
At the conclusion of the meeting Mr. McMillan
said to me : "Let me introduce you to Mr. Moody."
We joined the little procession of persons who were
going up to shake hands with him, and thus I met for
the first time the man with whom, in the providence
of God, I was to be associated for the remainder of
his life, or nearly thirty years.
Moody's first words to me, after my introduction,
were, "Where are you from? Are you married?
What is your business?" Upon telling him that I
lived in Pennsylvania, was married, had two children,
and was in the government employ, he said abruptly,
"You will have to give that up."
I stood amazed, at a loss to understand why the
man told me that I would have to give up what I con-
sidered a good position. "What for?" I exclaimed.
"To come to Chicago and help me in my work,"
was the answer.
When I told him that I could not leave my busi-
ness, he retorted, "You must; I have been looking
for you for the last eight years."
I answered that I would think the matter over;
but as yet I had no thought of giving up my position.
He told me about his religious work in Chicago, and
22 Sankey's Story
closed by saying that the greatest trouble in connec-
tion with his meetings was the matter of the singing.
He said he could not sing himself, and therefore had
to depend upon all kinds of people to lead his service
of song, and that sometimes when he had talked to
a crowd of people, and was about to "pull the net,"
some one would strike up a long meter hymn to a
short meter tune, and thereby upset the whole meet-
ing. Mr. Moody then asked me if I would go with
him and pray over the matter, and to this I consented
— out of politeness. After the prayer we parted, and
I returned to my room, much impressed by Mr.
Moody's prayer, but still undecided.
The next day I received a card from Mr. Moody
asking if I would meet him on a certain street corner
that evening at six o'clock. At that hour I was at
the place named, with a few of my friends. In a few
minutes Moody came along.
Without stopping to speak, he passed on into a
store near by, and asked permission to use a large
store-box. The permission was granted; he rolled
the box into the street, and, calling me aside, asked
me to get up on the box and sing something.
"Am I a soldier of the cross?" soon gathered
a considerable crowd. After the song, Mr. Moody
climbed up on the box and began to talk. The work-
ingmen were just going home from the mills and the
Of His Own Life 23
factories, and in a short time a very large crowd had
gathered. The people stood spellbound as the words
fell from Moody's lips with wonderful force and
rapidity. When he had spoken for some twenty-five
minutes he announced that the meeting would be
continued at the Opera House, and invited the people
to accompany us there. He asked me to lead the
way and with my friends sing some familiar hymn.
This we did, singing as we marched down the street,
"Shall we gather at the river." The men with the
dinner pails followed closely on our heels instead of
going home, so completely were they carried away by
the sermon from the store-box.
The Opera House was packed to the doors, and
Moody first saw that all the workingmen were seated
before he ascended to the platform to speak. His
second address was as captivating as the one delivered
on the street comer, and it was not until the delegates
had arrived for the evening session of the convention
that Mr. Moody closed the meeting, saying, "Now we
must close, as the brethren of the convention wish to
come in to discuss the question, *How to reach the
masses.' " Here was a man who could successfully
reach the masses while others were talking about it.
When Mr. Moody again brought up the question
of our going into the work together, I was still unde-
cided. After a delay of over six months, and much
24 Sankeys Story
urging on Mr. Moody's part, I consented to spend a
week with him.
I arrived in Chicago one bright morning about
daylight, and after a hasty breakfast proceeded at
once to Mr. Moody's home, on the north side of the
city. Immediately on entering the house, and with-
out any preliminaries or introductions to such mem-
bers of his family as were present, he asked me if I
would not sit down at the organ and lead the singing
for the family devotions. After the services were
over and I had been introduced to his family, he.
said: "I am going to spend the day in visiting a lot
of sick people, and I want you to go with me and
sing for them." In the first home we visited we
found a sick mother with a very large family, who
were all very glad to see Mr. Moody, who at once
took a seat by the bedside, saying: ''I am going to
read a few words from the Bible, but first I want my
friend, Sankey, to sing a little hymn for you." I sang
"Scatter Seeds of Kindness," which was quite popular
in those days. This hymn, which was the first one I
sang for Moody, on joining him in Chicago, in 1871,
was the last one I sang for him, twenty-eight years
later. This was at the last public meeting we held
together, which was in Brooklyn, in the church of the
Rev. Richard M. Storrs, D. D., in September, 1899.
Besides visiting the sick, we spent the week in
Of His Own Life 25
holding a number of meetings in the Illinois Street
Church, of which Moody was the founder and leader,
noon prayer-meetings in the business part of the city,
some evangelistic services in different churches, and
concluded thi week with a mass meeting in Farwell
Hall. This rpiceting he opened with a congregational
hymn, and while it was being sung, he said to me : "I
am going to 5peak on 'The Prodigal Son,' and I want
you to sing pne of the songs I heard you sing at
Indianapolis, 'Come home, O prodigal child.' " I
replied: "But I have no organ with which to accom-
pany myself." Pointing his finger over his shoulder
at the great three thousand dollar organ at the rear
of the platform, he said : 'Isn't that enough for you?"
I replied tha^: it was too large, and too far away, and
that if I used it, I would have to turn my back to the
audience whi.e singing, and that the song so rendered
would not amount to anything, nor did I think that the
German gentleman who had been playing the organ
could accompany me in the way in which I should like
to render the hymn. Moody then said : "Give him a
book, and tell him how you want it played." This I
did. Later on when Moody suddenly finished his ad-
dress, which was one of great power, he looked at
me and said : "Mr. Sankey will now sing a solo for us,
and let it be perfectly still while he sings." I arose
quickly, and turned around to indicate to the organist
26 Sankey's Story
that I was ready, but to my horror, he had not yet
returned from the quiet smoke which he was in the
habit of enjoying in a back room while Moody was
preaching. I stepped to the front of the platform and
sang the song as best I could without any musical
accompaniment. I have always remembered that
song, as being the first sacred solo sung by me in one
of Mr. Moody's large evangelistic meetings.
As I was about to leave the city for my home the
next morning, Mr. Moody said : "You see that I was
right; your singing has been very helpful in all the
meetings, and I am sure you ought to come to Chi-
cago at once, and give up your business."
When arriving home, I consulted my pastor,
rather hoping that he would advise me not to go, but
when he, as well as all my friends, was of the opinion
that it was my plain duty to go, I sent my resignation
to Mr. Hugh McCullough, at that time Secretary of
the Treasury, and the position which I had held was,
at my request, given to a "bucktail" soldier who had
escaped from Libby Prison.
We thus commenced work together in Chicago in
the early part of 187 1, singing and praying with
the sick, speaking and singing at the daily noon
prayer-meetings, and other work, until Mr. Moody's
church was destroyed in the Chicago fire.
Sunday evening, October 8, 1871, we were hold-
Of His Own Life 27
ing a meeting in Farwell Hall, which was crowded
to the doors. At the close of his address Mr. Moody
asked me to sing a solo, and standing by the great
organ at the rear of the platform I began the old,
familiar hymn, " To-day the Saviour calls." By the
time I had reached the third verse,
"To-day the Saviour calls:
For refuge fly;
The storm of justice falls,
And death is nigh,"
my voice was drowned by the loud noise of the fire
engines rushing past the hall, and the tolling of bells,
among which we could hear, ever and anon, the deep,
sullen tones of the great city bell, in the steeple of
the old court-house close at hand, ringing out a
Tremendous confusion was heard in the streets,
and Mr. Moody decided to close the meeting at once,
for the audience was becoming restless and alarmed.
As the people dispersed, I went with Mr. Moody down
the small back stairway leading into the old Arcade
Court, and from our position there we watched the
reflection of the fire, half a mile away, on the west
side of the city, as it cast its ominous glare against the
sky. After a few moments we separated, I to go over
the river to where the fire was raging, and he to his
28 Sa7ikeys Story
home on the North Side. We did not meet again for
more than two months.
On reaching the scene of the fire I found a whole
block of small frame buildings burning fiercely, and
I assisted in tearing down some board fences, to try
to keep the fire from spreading to the adjoining
territory. While thus engaged, the wind from the
southwest had risen almost to a hurricane, and the
flying embers from the falling buildings were quickly
caught up and carried high upon the roofs of the
houses adjoining, which were soon in flames. Thus
the fire spread from building to building, and from
block to block, until it seemed evident that the city
was doomed. All this time the fire was moving towards
Farwell Hall and the business center of the city.
I now gave up the fight, and made haste to re-
cross the river, hurrying back to my quarters — my
living room and office — in the Farwell Hall Building.
The fire followed so rapidly that several times I had
to shake the falling embers from my coat. Arriving at
the hall, I gathered up a number of belongings which
I especially wished to save, and, placing them close
to the door of my office, went out to find a convey-
ance so as to transfer them to a place of safety. Tt
was now between one and two o'clock in the morning,
and not a carriage or truck could be found.
While still looking for a conveyance I saw in the
Of His Own Life 29
distance, coming up Clark Street, a horse attached
to an express wagon, running at full speed, without a
driver, and ten or fifteen men running after it trying
to capture the animal. I made a dash for the flying
steed, but in turning from one street into another he
slipped and fell, and in a moment a crowd of men
were on top of him, each claiming the right of posses-
sion. Not caring to share in the contest, I returned
to the hall, and commenced the task of carrying my
effects toward Lake Michigan, half a mile distant.
On the way to the lake I passed the present loca-
tion of the Palmer House, then being erected, the
foundation of which had only been built to the level
of the street. Believing that the rooms and under-
ground passages would afford a temporary place of
security for some of my things, I walked on a plank
down into the cellar, and hid two large valises in the
darkest corner I could find. As yet, only a few people
were moving out of their homes in this section of the
city, and, as I noticed the seeming indifference of those
who had come to the windows of their houses, I called
out to them to escape for their lives, as the city was
doomed to destruction. Some became alarmed;
others only laughed.
I returned to the hall for another load of my be-
longings, and after securing all I could carry, started
in a more direct route for the lake, the streets being
30 Sankeys Story
lighted up by the glare of the oncoming conflagration.
After getting about half-way to the shore, I stopped
and deposited my burden on the front steps of a fine
residence I was passing, thinking I would soon return
and find them there. Again, for the third time, I went
back to my rooms, and, gathering up a few more arti-
cles, started for the stone steps. I found, however,
on reaching the house, that the things I had left there
were covered several feet deep with other people's
belongings, and I never saw them again.
By this time the people were fully awake, rushing
about the street, or anxiously looking out of their
windows and from the tops of their houses in the
direction of the fire. I could not help thinking of the
Bible story of the destruction of the Cities of the Plain
in the long ago, as many still made light of those who
said the city would be destroyed. The air was filled
with flying sparks of fire, resembling a spring snow-
storm, when the sky is filled with huge, falling flakes.
As I pressed on, two men carrying a sick man on a
stretcher overtook me. After passing a short distance
ahead, they stopped and laid him by the side of the
street, as the invalid, being quite sure the city would
not be destroyed, did not wish to be carried farther.
As soon as the carriers had been paid ofif and dis-
charged I employed them to assist me in carrying
my effects to the lakeside ; but before we reached our
Of His Own Life 33
destination, in looking southward, they saw that the
fire was sweeping through the southeastern section of
the city, where they lived. Dropping my goods in the
middle of the street, and without waiting for com-
pensation, they rushed away to secure their own
Again I secured help, and at last reached the lake,
where I deposited my trunks and possessions close by
the edge of the water, with the thought that if the
flames came to the edge of the lake I would walk into
the water and be saved from the heat. Remember-
ing my first attempt at carr\'ing my goods away from
Farwell Hall, I returned to the Palmer House block,
to secure, if possible, my first cargo, very much fear-
ing that the things would not be there when I reached
the place, as I thought some night wanderer might
have noticed my leaving them and appropriated them
to his own use. Much to my joy, I found them still
there, and carried them away to the lake.
By this time I was greatly exhausted, and almost
famished for want of water, that along the shore not
being fit to drink. I asked another refugee, who was
in like case with myself, watching his little store of
precious things, if he would look out for mine while I
returned into the city to get some water to drink.
The man consenting, I went back to Wabash Avenue,
one of the finest residential streets in the city, and,
34 Sankey's Story
entering one of the large houses, asked if I might have
some water. I was told to go into the rear of the
building and get all I wished. I found a faucet, but,
on attempting to draw water, air rushed out instead.
This was my first intimation that the water works,
two miles to the northward, had been destroyed. A
few minutes later I heard a terrific explosion, which
seemed to shake the city, and was told that the city
gas works had blown up.
Things began to look very desperate — no v/ater,
no light in the houses, and the city in flames ! I made
my way back again to the lake and, wrapping myself
in a great overcoat, lay down behind one of the large
trunks which I had saved. Thus sheltered from the
wind, I slept for an hour. On awaking I could hear
the rush and roar of the fire coming nearer and
nearer. The sun, slowly rising out of the waters of
the lake, seemed like a red ball of fire. The wind had
not fallen, and huge waves were breaking on the
shore at my feet.
I now felt that I must have water to drink, and,
after wandering along the shore for some distance,
found some small rowboats, and asked a man near by,
who seemed to be their owner, if I might have one
to go out into the lake for fresh water. " Yes," he
said ; " if you can manage the boat you can have it,
as we are not likely to have much more boating in this
Of His Own Life 35
section for some time to come." So I took possession
of one, and rowed down to where my goods were de-
posited. Rolling them on board, I made my way out
into the lake, passing through the piling on which
the railway was built, in front of the city. After get-
ting my boat through the piling, I rowed out far
enough to find fresh water. Then, tying my boat to
some timbers that were being used for the erection of
a new breakwater, I climbed up on the pile of lumber
and for several hours watched the destruction of the
city. Every few minutes a loud explosion was heard.
I afterwards learned that these were caused by the
blowing up of buildings — by order of General Sheri-
dan, who was in the city at the time — so as to form
a barrier against the fire and prevent its spreading to
It was interesting to watch the tramps and thieves
carrying away on their backs large bales of silk and
satin goods which they had taken from the burning
stores in the wholesale district. Most of them fol-
lowed the railway track southward, not knowing that
at the place where the track reached the land a com-
pany of fire insurance agents were waiting with open
arms to relieve them of their burdens.
The day wore away, but the city was still burning,
and, as the sun was sinking in the west, a song came
into my mind which I had been singing a few days
2^6 Sankeys Story
before in Mr. Moody's large Sunday-school on the
North Side, and I sang it through as I sat there, with
the waves beating about me. The first verse was as
"Dark is the night, and cold the wind is blowing,
Nearer and nearer comes the breakers' roar;
Where shall I go, or whither fly for refuge?
Hide me, my Father, till the storm is o'er."
I finally determined to get back to land, but was
not aware of the fact that the riding of my boat upon
the waves had almost sawn asunder the line with
which it was attached to the timber. As I jumped
into the boat the line broke, and I was swept out into
the lake, the waves sweeping over my little craft.
For a moment I was in real danger of being lost, but
I soon had the boat under control, and, after a few
moments of hard work, reached the shore in safety.
I then secured a drayman, who for the sum of ten
dollars agreed to carry me and my effects to the un-
burned end of the Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway
if he could find it. He succeeded. I checked my
goods for my home in the East, secured some refresh-
ments at a near-by restaurant, and went back into the
burnt district. Farwell Hall was gone, and every
building in that part of the city had disappeared.
The paved streets, covered with hot bricks and long
coils of burnt and twisted telegraph wire, told some-
Of His Own Life 37
thing of the awful story. Most of the substance of
these great buildings had actually been carried away
by the hot air into the water of Lake Michigan.
After seeing something of the fearful destruction
wrought by the conflagration, I made my way through
the heated streets to the railway, and took an out-
going train for my home in Pennsylvania. As we
left the city it seemed as though the whole country
was on fire ; in all directions we could see huge banks
of flame sweeping across the prairies, and the air was
filled to suffocation with smoke.
I was soon able to telegraph home of my safety
and speedy return. It seemed as though this would
end my work in Chicago, but two months later Mr.
Moody telegraphed me to return and help him in the
new temporary ''Tabernacle," which had by that time
been erected. On my return to Chicago I learned
that Mr. Moody, after reaching his home on the North
Side, had aroused his sleeping neighbors, assisted men
and women into conveyances, and urged them to flee
for their lives. As the billows of fire came nearer
and nearer, Mr. Moody, with his wife and children,
m.ade his way into the northwestern district to a place
of safety beyond the fire line. Before leaving her
home Mrs. Moody took down from the wall an oil
painting of her husband and asked him to carry it
with him ; but he declined, saying that he did not think
38 Sankeys Story
it would look well for him to be running through the
streets of Chicago with his picture in his arms at such
a time! Speaking of the fire to a friend some time
later, Mr. Moody remarked:
"All I saved was my Bible, my family and my
We continued to hold services and to help the
poor and needy who had lost everything in the fire.
We slept together in a corner of the new Tabernacle,
with nothing for a bed but a single lounge, and fre-
quently the fierce prairie winds would blow the drift-
ing snow into our room.
During these busy months Mr. Moody was always
soliciting help from his friends, for the purpose of
rebuilding the church which had been destroyed by
fire. I mention the following, as a characteristic inci-
dent of his skill in securing money: While walking
with him one day along one of the principal streets
of the city, we met one of his old acquaintances, and
abruptly Moody said to him : "Look here, my friend,
I am glad to see you, and I want one thousand dol-
lars from you to help rebuild my church on the North
Side." The man looked at him in amazement, and
retorted : "I can't give it to you ; I haven't got a thou-
sand dollars." Mr. Moody quickly replied : "Well, you
can borrow it." The gentleman was so amused and
impressed with the earnestness of the petitioner thit
Of His Own Life 39
he at once said : "All right, Mr. Moody, Fll send you
a check to-morrow," which he did.
In October of 1872 I moved my family to Chi-
cago, and in the same year Mr. Moody went on his
second trip to England, leaving me in charge of the
work at the Tabernacle, assisted by Major Whittle,
Richard Thain, Fleming H. Revell, and others.
There were conversions in the church and Sunday-
school every week.
After Mr. Moody's return we accepted an invita-
tion to go to Springfield, Illinois, to hold services,
which were attended with great blessing. Indeed, it
seemed that if we had remained and thus worked in
our own country a great revival would have taken
place. On our way to Springfield the train stopped
at a station near Chicago, where a great crowd was
assembled on the platform. Mr. Moody sat by an
open window. Near by stood a tall, gaunt-looking
countryman, with his hands in his pockets, looking
at Mr. Moody through the window. Mr. Moody asked
him what the crowd meant, and the man replied :
" Oh, the folks have just come down to see the
" Did you know that General Grant was on the
train?" Mr. Moody inquired.
" Oh, is he ?" the man exclaimed.
Mr. Moody, with a smile, told him that he was
40 Sankey's Story
not. Quite nonplussed, the man walked down the
platform a little way, but returned in a little while and
" Hello, Mister I We had a great time in town
" How was that ? " asked Mr. Moody.
" There was a woman here, and they wouldn't
"Why wouldn't they bury her?" Mr. Moody
" Because she wasn't dead," the man smilingly
answered, to the great amusement of his friends.
Mr. Moody turned to me and said : "Sankey, put
that window down ! "
About this time my friend Philip Phillips re-
turned from Europe, where he had been singing for
one hundred nights in succession. He came to Chi-
cago and stopped with me. He made a very enticing
offer, including a large salary and all expenses, if I
would go with him to the Pacific coast and there assist
him in his services of song. I wouldn't promise any-
thing until I had spent some hours in consultation and
prayer with my friend, Mr. Moody ; the result was that
I remained with him.
In June, 1873, we sailed for England, Mr. Moody
takmg his wife and children with him, and my wife
Of His Own Life 41
accompanying me, having left our two children with
The only books that I took with me were my
Bagster Bible and my " musical scrap-book," which
contained a number of hymns which I had collected
in the past years, and many of which, in the provi-
dence of God, were to be used in arousing much re-
ligious interest among the people in the Old Country.
The voyage was uneventful, but of great interest to
our little party. Mr. Moody, shortly after leaving
Sandy Hook, for good and sufficient reasons retired
to his berth, where he remained for the larger part
of the voyage. I had the good fortune to escape
seasickness, and was able to partake of my regular
three meals a day. Mr. Moody would frequently
send his ship steward over to my side of the ship to
ascertain how I was getting on, and suggesting a
large number of infallible remedies for seasickness.
On arriving at Queenstown, the vessel stopped
for a short time, to land and receive mail. Among
some letters which Mr. Moody received was one in-
forming him that both the men who had invited us
to come to England, the Rev. William Pennefather, a
minister of the Established Church of London, and
Mr. Cuthbert Bainbridge, a Wesleyan, and a promi-
nent merchant of Newcastle-on-Tyne, were dead.
Turning to me, Mr. Moody said, *'Sankey, it
42 Sankefs Story
seems as if God has closed the door for us, and if he
will not open it we will return to America at once.'*
The next day we landed in Liverpool, strangers
in a strange country, without an invitation, without a
committee, and with but very little money. The situa-
tion was anything but cheerful. I have always felt
that God was, by this strange providence, calling upon
us to lean wholly upon him in any work in which we
might be permitted to engage. We had no friends to
meet us, and at once we made our way to the North-
western Hotel, where we spent the night.
As Mr. Moody was looking over some letters
which he had received in New York before sailing,
and which had remained unread, he found one from
the secretary of the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tion at York, asking him if he ever came to England
again, to come there and speak for the Association.
" Here is a door," said Moody to me after reading
the letter, " which is partly open, and we will go there
and begin our work."
The next morning we left Liverpool, Mr. Moody
taking his family to London, where Mrs. Moody,
being born in England, had a sister. I, with my wife,
went to Manchester, to the home of my greatly be-
loved friend, Henry Morehouse, whom I had met in
After three days' stay in London Mr. Moody
Of His Own Life 43
went to York, where I joined him. On arriving there I
went to the home of Mr. George Bennett, Honorary
Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association,
who had invited us to come to York, and, on inquir-
ing if Mr. Moody had arrived, was told that he was
in the room directly overhead. When Jvloody saw
me he said, laughingly : ''Our friend here is very much
excited over our arrival, and says that he did not
expect us so soon, and that he does not think this
will be a good time to commence meetings, as all the
people are away at the seaside." I was struck with
the fact that notwithstanding these unpropitious cir-
cumstances, Mr. Moody did not show the slightest
sign of disappointment or anxiety. After talking over
the situation for a while, we called for Mr. Bennett,
who was busy dispensing his medicines in his drug
store below, and asked him if he could get the use
of a chapel for our meetings. He at once secured
permission to use an Independent Chapel. On his re-
turn he requested me to write out the following notice :
D. L. Moody of Chicago will preach, and Ira D.
Sankey of Chicago will sing, at 7 o'clock P. M. to-
morrow, Thursday, and each succeeding evening for
a week, in the Independent Chapel. All are welcome.
The first meeting was attended by less than fifty
44 Sankey's Story
persons, who took seats as far away from the pulpit as
possible. I sang several solos before Mr. Moody's
address, and that was my first service of song in Eng-
land. It was with some difficulty that I could get the
people to sing, as they had not been accustomed to
the kind of songs that I was using.
Although this, the first meeting of the long cam-
paign, was not especially well received by the con-
gregation, it gave Mr. Moody an opportunity to an-
nounce his noonday prayer-meetings and Bible meet-
ings, which were to follow. The noonday prayer-
meetings were held in a small upper room (reached
through a dark passage-way), where the Y. M. C. A.
held their meetings. Only six persons attended the
first of these meetings. But these meetings were
the beginning of days with us — the rising of the cloud
of blessing, not larger than a man's hand, but which
was soon to overshadow us with plenteous showers,
and often with floods upon the dry ground.
It was at one of these noonday meetings that a
young minister, pastor of the leading Baptist church
of the city, his face lighted up with a light which I had
not often witnessed before, rose and said : "Brethren,
what Mr. Moody said the other day about the Holy
Spirit for service is true. I have been preaching for
years without any special blessing, simply beating the
air, and have been toiling hard, but without the power
Of His Own Life 45
of God upon me. For two days I have been away
from the meetings, closeted with my Master. I think
he has had the victory over my arrogance and pride,
and I beheve I have made a full surrender of all to
him, and to-day I have come here to join you in wor-
ship, and to ask you to pray for me."
This confession and testimony was the rod in
God's hand that smote the rock in the desert of doubt
and unbelief at York. From that day the work took
a new start, and soon there were hundreds of souls
crowding the inquiry rooms. We were invited to hold
services in this young pastor's chapel, and a large
number were taken into his church. From that day
on marvelous success has attended his preaching, and
his name has become almost a household word in
the Church at large. He has visited the conventions
at Northfield for many years, and has conducted
meetings of ministers in many of the leading cities
of this country. His books have had an enormous
circulation, and together with his addresses have
been most helpful, not only to ministers of the gospel,
but to Christian workers of all denominations. This
young preacher, the Rev. F. B. Meyer, B. A., will
ever be held in grateful remembrance by tens of
thousands in this and other lands.
On his way from London to Northfield this year
(1907), Dr. Meyer paid me a most delightful visit on
46 Smikey's Story
a Sunday afternoon. We talked over the old times
at York, London, Leicester and other places, and I
sang for him, "There'll be no Dark Valley When
Jesus Comes," and after praying with me, he promised
to call and see me again.
From that small beginning in York the attend-
ance at our meetings continued to increase, until not
less than twenty thousand persons attended the meet-
ings at the Agricultural Hall, London.
The first public mention of our arrival in England
was as follows :
" Mr. D. L. Moody has just arrived from Chicago
with his family, and is accompanied by a Christian
brother, who leads the singing at the meetings after
the manner of our friend, Philip Phillips
Last Lord's Day he preached in Independent and
Wesleyan Chapels, in York, and we believe that he
intends to continue a while in the north of England,
and then go to Scotland "
Our sacred songs continued to grow in popu-
larity, and I was continually beset with requests for
the loan of my " musical scrap-book," in which alone
could be found the songs that were then being sung
as solos at our meetings. For a while I permitted
many of my friends to have them, but soon found
that it would be impossible to continue doing so, as
persons having my book failed to return it in time for
Of His Own Life 47
the meetings, thus preventing me from using the
desired hymns at the services. To overcome this
difficulty I had the words of a number of hymns
printed on small cards. I hoped that these cards
would supply the demand for the song, but as soon
as the congregation observed that the cards were
given out free to applicants, a rush was made for the
platform, and the supply was exhausted the first day.
I could not afford to continue this plan, and it was
evident that something else had to be done. Having
received a number of complaints from persons who
had purchased copies of the ''Hallowed Songs," which
we were using in the meetings, that that book con-
tained but a very few of the solos the people so much
desired, I made an effort to have the publishers of
that book print a few of the most popular pieces and
bind them in the back of future editions of that book.
This offer the publishers respectfully declined, saying
that Philip Phillips, the compiler of the book, was in
California, and that they did not care to make any
alterations without his permission. I wrote them
again, saying that I was an intimate friend of Mr.
Phillips, and that I was sure he would be very glad
to have this addition made to his book, but again the
offer was declined, and here the matter rested for a
Among the many requests we had by this time
48 Sankeys Story
received from towns in the vicinity, was a very urgent
one from a large watering place on the north shore
of England. We accepted the invitation and ex-
pected to go, but a few days before the time appointed
for our start, a deputation of ministers called upon
us, asking if they might not recall their invitation,
giving as the reason, that the attendance at our meet-
ings was so very large, it would no doubt interfere
somewhat with the "penny collections," which they
were in the habit of receiving from visitors during the
summer season, and on which they relied very largely
for the necessary funds to carry on the work for the
balance of the year. Notwithstanding that Moody
was well aware that they were making a mistake, he
allowed them to withdraw the invitation, as we had
many others in hand, and there was lost to that town
an opportunity which never returned. A number of
petitions were brought to us from this place, urging
us to come and hold meetings, but we were never
able to do so.
Among other invitations was one from a minister
at Sunderland, the Rev. A. A. Rees. Mr. Moody,
fearing that in this case there might also be some
trouble in regard to " penny collections," sent me to
the place to learn the situation. Mr. Rees met me at
the station, and I remained with him over night.
During the evening he made a number of inquiries
Of His Own Life 49
about Mr. Moody, and said that a year or so ago he
had met a man in Ireland with the name of Moody,
and that if this was the same man, he desired very
much to have him come and preach in his chapel. His
reason for this was, that in the home of a Mr. Bewley,
he had been assigned to share a bedroom with Mr.
Moody, and before retiring Moody suggested that
they have evening devotions, and that he had never
heard anything that equaled Mr. Moody's prayer and
burning desire for a greater knowledge of God's
Word and power to preach it. On assuring him that
this was the same man, it was at once settled that we
should come the next week, and that there should be
no '' penny collections " to interfere with the work.
Almost immediately after arriving Mr. Rees
requested me to go with him to the home of Mr.
Longstaff, treasurer of Mr. Rees' chapel, and the man
who many years afterward wrote the hymn, " Take
time to be holy." On entering the parlor I discov-
ered an American organ in a corner of the room,
which, I was told, had been used by Philip Phillips
in his service of song in that city. I was requested
to sing, which I did, not knowing that the minister
was strongly opposed, not only to solo singing, but
to organs and choirs as well, never allowing anything
of the kind in his church. Among the songs that I
sang on this occasion I recall the following : " Come
50 Sankey's Story
home, O Prodigal," " Free from the law," and " More
to follow." The minister made no comments, but
seemed much interested in the singing. A few days
after our arrival in the city we were surprised to see
the walls and billboards placarded with enormous
posters, containing the following notice : " D. L.
Moody of Chicago will preach the gospel, and Ira D.
Sankey of Chicago will sing the gospel in Bethesda
Chapel every afternoon and evening this week, except
Saturday, at 3 and 7 o'clock. All are welcome."
Thus the phrase, " sing the gospel " originated with
one of the most conservative ministers in England.
We soon learned that we were in the hands of a
pastor who was known throughout that section as
" the pope of the north," and that none of the other
ministers had been asked to join in the services. For
the first time in the history of that chapel a small
cabinet organ was not only brought in, but given con-
spicuous place in the large pulpit, from which place
I was better able to command the galleries and lead
the singing than would have been the case had the
organ occupied a place on the floor below.
Up to this time we had not organized any choirs
to assist in the singing, but the people were learning
the American tunes very fast, and the singing was
becoming a marked feature of the meetings.
The hymn most used by our congregations in
MR. SANKEY AT THE ORGAN
Of His Own Life 53
those days was, '' Sun of my soul/' to the tune
" Hursley," which was almost the only distinctively
English tune with which I was familiar up to that
time, and finding that it could be adapted to '' Rock
of Ages," and many other hymns, we used the tune in
almost every meeting.
During our stay at Sunderland we occupied
" lodgings," ordering from the market such provi-
sions as we desired, having the cooking done for us
by those in charge of the house. On one occasion
Mr. Moody was requested to order some fish, and,
going through the market that day, he discovered a
beautiful salmon, weighing not less than fifteen
pounds, which he immediately purchased and had
sent to our home. A fish of four or five pounds
would have been abundantly large for our temporary
wants, but Mr. Moody's generosity kept us in salmon
during the remainder of our stay in that city. This
was only a small indication of the large things always
devised by Mr. Moody.
While here Mr. R. C. Morgan, of London, editor
of '' The Christian," having heard of the work that
was going on in the north, visited us for the purpose
of writing up an account of the meetings for his paper,
and while seated one day at the dinner table, I re-
marked to him that I was afraid what I had heard
about the English people being slow and conservative
54 Sankefs Story
was all too true. I spoke with considerable anima-
tion on the subject, and he inquired what I meant.
I then told him of my attempt to give away my sacred
songs, which were in such demand by the people, and
that I could get no one to take them. He at once
remarked that as he had been printing musical leaflets
for a number of years, he would be glad to take some
of mine with him to London and publish them in a
small paper-covered pamphlet. So I cut from my
scrap-book twenty-three pieces, rolled them up, and
wrote on them the words, " Sacred Songs and Solos,
sung by Ira D. Sankey at the meetings of Mr. Moody
Mr. Morgan returned to London the next day,
and in about two weeks we received 500 copies of the
pamphlet, which was first used at an all-day meeting,
held near the close of our mission in Sunderland.
The little book was sold at sixpence per copy, and be-
fore the day was over every book had been purchased.
We immediately telegraphed for a still larger supply,
which was also soon exhausted, and a few days later
copies were seen not only in the windows of book-
stores, but grocers', dry-goods estabHshments, etc.
Thus began the publication and sale of a book which,
together with the edition of words only, has now
grown into a volume of twelve hundred pieces.
During all our campaigns abroad it was our cus-
Of His Own Life 55
torn to rest on Saturdays, and to make excursions into
the country on that day, whenever it was convenient.
While at Sunderland, one Saturday, we took a cab and
drove a few miles northward along the seashore. Com-
ing to an almost perpendicular cHff rising hundreds of
feet above the level of the sea, we descended by a
stairway fo the beach below. For a while we enjoyed
ourselves by walking along the shore, examining the
beautiful shells left exposed by the tide, which had
gone out before we arrived. Our attention was soon
arrested by some one shouting from the top of the
cliff. We saw a man wildly beckoning to us to return.
On looking around we discovered that the tide had
risen and had filled a deep channel between us and the
stainvay. It was clear that we had no time to lose.
Mr. Moody suggested that I should plunge in and
lead the way to the cliff as quickly as possible, and
while I did so he stood looking on, convulsed with
laughter at my frantic strides through the water over
the slippery stones. But I reached a place of safety.
Then the tables were turned, and it was my opportu-
nity to enjoy a sight not soon to be forgotten, as my
friend slowly and with considerable dif^culty waded
through the constantly rising water to the place where
I stood. We were to hold a Bible reading that after-
noon at three o'clock. Not having time to go to our
lodgings for a chance of clothing, we at once pro-
56 Sankefs Story
ceeded to the place of the meeting, and we held the
service in our wet clothes and shoes.
The experience which we had just passed through
suggested to me the hymn, " Pull for the shore, sailor,
pull for the shore," and I sang the hymn at this meet-
ing for the first time in England.
Many interesting incidents occurred at the Sun-
derland meetings, of which I recall the following:
One evening at the conclusion of a very earnest gos-
pel address, I was requested to sing a hymn which
had hitherto been greatly blessed in bringing wander-
ers into the fold, " Come home, O prodigal, Come
home ! " A deep hush prevailed during the singing,
and just before its conclusion a cry was heard through
the building : " Oh, father, will you forgive me ? "
while a young man rushed from the back part of the
room down the middle aisle to where his father was
seated. Throwing his arms around his neck, and
with the deepest emotion, he begged forgiveness for
some great wrong that he had done. The father
rose from his seat and said : " My boy, I forgive
everything; come now, let us go into the vestry and
ask God to forgive us both, even as I have forgiven
you." This incident made a profound impression
upon the whole congregation, and that night hundreds
of penitents retired to an adjoining room for prayer
and consultation. From this time on the spirit of
Of His Own Life 57
anxious inquiry deepened throughout the city, and
in a few days Victoria Hall, the largest in the city,
seating 3,000, was engaged for our meetings, and was
crowded to the doors during the remainder of our
While here a prominent Christian gentleman of
Newcastle-on-Tyne, Mr. Richard Hoyle, who had
heard of our work, came over, and, after attending
some meetings, asked if we would come to his city.
Mr. Moody told him that if the ministers of New-
castle would unite in requesting us to come we would
gladly do so. Mr. Hoyle returned to his city and,
calling the ministers together, told them what he had
seen and heard at Sunderland. As a result of this
meeting a petition was at once signed by a large num-
ber of non-conformist ministers, together with a few
prominent laymen, and forwarded to Mr. Moody, who
immediately accepted the invitation. On August 25
we arrived at Newcastle. It was a dark, gloomy
night, the town being enveloped in a dense fog. At
the chapel which had been selected for our opening
meeting that night we found very few present. In
the small audience I was impressed with the radiant
countenance of one of the ladies, who sat near the
front. From the opening hymn to the close of Mr.
Moody's address, the expression on her face seemed
to show that she fully understood and appreciated the
58 Sankey's Story
message that was being proclaimed, and at the close
she came forward, thanking the preacher and the
singer for what she had heard, and predicting that
before many days a great blessing from God would
be poured out upon that community. How truly this
prophecy of Hannah Swinburn was fulfilled is now
known to all. Shortly afterward I was invited with
my wife to this lady's home, and with her delightful
family we spent some of the happiest hours in the Old
In a few days the evening meetings became so
crowded that overflow meetings had to be held in
near-by halls and chapels. A remarkable impression
was made at this place upon some of the people
known as Quakers, or Society of Friends. It was not
only by Mr. Moody's stirring addresses and Bible
lectures, but also by the new hymns and tunes, the
like of which had never been heard in the city before.
It was not an uncommon sight to see an aged Quaker
lady, dressed in the garb of her sect, as soon as it
was announced that I would sing in the overflow
meeting, get up and follow me to the place of the
meeting, and take a place near the platform, where
she could hear the new songs. It was at this place
that I first began singing the new songs, "The Sweet
By and By," ''That will be Heaven for me," and
" Christ Arose," which soon became so popular all
Of His Own Life 59
over Great Britain, also such hymns as " Come to the
Saviour," " When He Cometh,'* etc. It was most
interesting to notice how quickly the people took up
these songs; they sang them in the ship-yards on
Tyneside, on the streets, in the railway trains, and in
the market-places. It was the beginning of a revo-
lution in Great Britain in the matter of popular sacred
songs, and now, though over thirty years have rolled
by, it is said they are still in great favor with the
people. It was while in this city that we organized
the first " Moody and Sankey " choir.
As the mission here was nearing its close, we
went to the town of Walker to hold a meeting, and
addressed a large number of workingmen connected
with the shipbuilding industry at that place. At the
close of the meeting, as we were about to leave the
hall, and while I was on the platform gathering up
my hymn-books, a very refined-looking gentleman,
with a strong Scotch accent, came up to me and said :
*' Do you think Mr. Moody would go to Edinburgh
if he had an invitation from the ministers there ? "
This canny Scot had been attending our meetings for
the past ten days, and was reporting what he had
witnessed to his ministerial friends in Scotland. He
was somewhat disguised, for he wore an old, soft
white hat, while at home he wore a very proper high
silk hat. I told him that I thought Mr. Moody would
6o Sankefs Story
be very glad to go to Scotland, but that he had better
speak to him about it. At the close of the meeting
this gentleman, who proved to be the Rev. John Kel-
man, of Leith, who afterward became chairman of our
general committee in Edinburgh, took from his pocket
a petition, largely signed by ministers and prominent
laymen, asking us to come to Edinburgh for a series
of meetings. He handed the paper to Mr. Moody,
who at once accepted the invitation.
Before going to Scotland we visited Bishop Auck-
land, Middleton, Darlington and Carlisle. In many
of the smaller places we found considerable difficulty
in securing small cabinet organs, it being inconve-
nient and expensive to carry our own instrument from
place to place. I shall never forget an experience in
Bishop Auckland. The organ, which had been sup-
plied by the committee, was placed in a high pulpit,
where there was room for both speaker and singer.
The organ did fairly well, till near the close of the
meeting. While Moody was in the vestry speaking
to the inquirers, I remained with one of the ministers
in the large hall, conducting a service of prayer.
While thus engaged, the organ suddenly became dis-
organized and proceeded to give forth a number of
discordant sounds, which I was utterly unable to sup-
press, and in despair I rushed into the vestry, where
Moody was speaking to a number of inquirers. He
Of His Own Life 6i
asked me why I had left the prayer-meeting in the
other room. I took him to the door of the chapel
and asked him to listen. The organ was still pouring
forth its shrill and inharmonious notes, and the
prayer-meeting was brought to a rather abrupt con-
We went to Carlisle on November 15, 1873, on
the invitation of a prominent Christian worker with
whom we had no acquaintance whatever, but who
proved to be one of the leading Plymouth Brethren
of that place. But one minister and the pastor of the
chapel where we held the meeting attended the first
service. For a few days there was no power in the
meetings, and Moody decided to call together all the
ministers of the place to see what was wrong. When
assembled he asked them if they knew what was the
cause of the lack of interest in the meetings. One
minister arose and said that he had not attended, be-
cause he did not believe in " sheep stealing." Others
expressed the same sentiment, saying that as we had
come to the place by invitation of one who was not
in sympathy with the ministers and their work, as
carried on in the churches and chapels, they had de-
cided not to have anything to do with this mission.
Mr. Moody at once arose and said that he had never
■before been accused of " sheep steaHng," or of work-
ing to either build up or tear down any one denomina-
62 Sankey's Story
tion of Christians; that he had come to Carlisle to
preach the gospel, and that he desired the co-opera-
tion of all the ministers of the place, and asked them
if they would not join him in prayer over the subject.
He asked that each one present lead in prayer, and
when this was done there was established the most
kindly and brotherly feeling, and all promised to be
present at all the meetings which were to follow.
It was a dismal night in November, 1873, when
our train rolled into the station in the city of Edin-
burgh. Desiring to avoid the formality of a reception
at the hands of the committee and friends who had
invited us to conduct a series of evangelistic meetings
in their city, we had refrained from notifying them as
to the hour of our arrival. Securing public cabs from
the numerous array massed about the station, we were
soon rattHng along the well-lighted streets to the
places where we were to abide.
I had selected a hotel on the principal street, not
far from the Walter Scott monument, and after being
assigned my room walked out on the crowded thor-
oughfare for a stroll. I had not proceeded half a
block when a hand was laid on my shoulder, and 3
voice said, " Ah, Mr. Sankey, is this you? When did
you arrive, and where is Mr. Moody? "
I gave the desired information in a few words
and then made bold to ask, "And, pray, who are you T
Of His Own Life 63
"The chairman of your committee," he re-
sponded. " And IVe been waiting for days to hear
when you would arrive. Come away. You're not to
be stopping at a public hotel when there are a hundred
homes ready to receive you."
So, hurrying me into a cab, and arranging with
the hotel-keeper to release my room, I was soon wel-
comed into one of the most delightful homes in all
Edinburgh. It was while abiding in this house that I
wrote the music of my first Gospel song, " Yet there
Our first meeting in Edinburgh was advertised to
be held on Sunday evening, November 23, and long
before the hour for commencing the service arrived
the whole building was densely packed to its utmost
corners; even the lobbies, stairs and entrance were
crowded with people, while more than two thousand
were turned away.
The first announcement made was a sad disap-
pointment to the congregation, for it was that Mr.
Moody could not be present, he having contracted a
severe cold the day before, while on the train en route
from Carlisle. It was further announced that Mr.
Sankey would conduct the service of song, and the
Rev. J. H. Wilson would preach.
This was indeed a trying hour for the singer.
Much had been said and written in Scotland against
64 Sankey's Story
the use of " human hymns " in public worship, and
even more had been uttered against the employment
of the " kist o' whistles," the term by which they
designated the small cabinet organ I employed as an
accompaniment to my voice.
A goodly number of ministers and prominent lay-
men were present. After the opening prayer I asked
all to join in singing a portion of the One Hundredth
Psalm. To this they responded with a will, as it was
safe and common ground for all denominations, and
no questions were raised as to Mr. Rouse having in-
troduced anything " human " into David's version as
found in the Bible. This was followed by reading the
Scriptures and prayer.
The service having been thus opened in regular
order, we now faced the problem of " singing the
gospel" — a term first devised and used by the Rev.
Arthur A. Rees, of Sunderland, England, some months
before, in advertising our meetings in that city, and
since then much discussed in Scotland. The song
selected for my first solo was "Jesus of Nazareth
The intense silence that pervaded that great
audience during the singing of this song at once
assured me that even '' human hymns," sung in a
prayerful spirit, were indeed likely to be used of God
to arrest attention and convey gospel truth to the
Of His Own Life 65
hearts of men in bonny Scotland, even as they had
in other places.
After a powerful address by Dr. Wilson, and a
closing prayer, I was requested to sing another solo.
Selecting " Hold the Fort,'* then comparatively new
in Edinburgh, the audience was requested to join in
singing the chorus, " Hold the fort, for I am coming,"
which they did with such heartiness and such power
that I was further convinced that gospel songs would
prove as useful and acceptable to the masses in Edin-
burgh as they had in the cities of York and New-
castle in England.
In our meetings held prior to entering Scotland,
it had been our custom to have the committee in
charge of the various meetings — often three and four,
in different localities, in a day — see that organs were
placed in the halls and chapels ready for use. In
Edinburgh we failed to inform the committee that
upon them would devolve the matter of placing the
organs in each hall and church as needed. The con-
sequence of this oversight was that at our second
meeting, held in Barclay Free Church, there was no
organ provided, and therefore we could have no solo
singing or gospel hymns.
When the committee discovered, about the hour
for commencing the service, that the organ was not
present, but away off at the Music Hall, they sent
66 Sankey's Story
after the missing instrument, which was brought with
They hoped to arrive at the meeting in season for
the closing exercises, and this end they certainly
would have attained had not the Jehu in charge been
over zealous in the use of his whip. In whirling
round a corner near the church at too great a speed
he overturned the vehicle, rolling both deputation and
" kist o* whistles " into the middle of the street.
The " kist " was in a sadly demoralized condition,
and its appearance now strangely suggestive of its
Scotch name. The outcome of the disaster was that
Mr. Moody had to conduct the second meeting alone,
as I had led the first alone.
These occurrences evidently greatly pleased some
of the Scotch folks, as they were heard to say : " It
had a fine tendency to break up any scheme the evan-
gelists might have had in their working together."
The third meeting was held in the same church,
and great interest was manifested by the citizens. The
question of the solo singing, as to its propriety and
usefulness, was not as yet fully understood or admit-
ted ; hence it \vas with much fear and trepidation that
we thus really entered, this third night, upon our three
As I took my seat at the instrument on that, to
me, most memorable evening, I discovered, to my
Of His Own Life 6^
great surprise, that Dr. Horatius Bonar was seated
close by my organ, right in front of the pulpit. The
first gospel-song music I had ever composed, written
since coming to Edinburgh, was set to words which
he wrote — " Yet there is room."
Of all men in Scotland he was the one man con-
cerning whose decision I was most solicitous. He
was, indeed, my ideal hymn-writer, the prince among
hymnists of his day and generation. And yet he would
not sing one of his own beautiful hymns in his own
congregation, such as, " I heard the voice of Jesus
say," or, " I was a wandering sheep," because he min-
istered to a church that beHeved in the use of the
With fear and trembling I announced as a solo
the song, " Free from the Law, oh, happy condition."
No prayer having been offered for this part of
the service, and feeling that the singing might prove
only an entertainment, and not a spiritual blessing, I
requested the whole congregation to join me in a
word of prayer, asking God to bless the truth about
to be sung.
In the prayer my anxiety was relieved. Believing
and rejoicing in the glorious truth contained in the
song, I sang it through to the end.
At the close of Mr. Moody's address, Dr. Bonar
turned toward me with a smile on his venerable face,
68 Sankefs Story
and reaching out his hand he said : " Well, Mr. San-
key, you sang the gospel to-night."
And thus the way was opened for the mission of
sacred song in Scotland.
At one of the meetings here a young man anxious
to gain admittance to the already over-crowded hall,
cried out to Mr. Moody : " I have come twenty miles
to hear you, can't you make room for me some-
where ? " Moody calmly replied : " Well, if we push
the walls out you know what the roof will do."
On another occasion, as we were holding meet-
ings in the Free Assembly Hall, while I was singing a
solo a woman's shrill voice was heard in the gallery,
as she made her way toward the door, crying : " Let
me oot ! Let me oot ! What would John Knox think
of the like of yon ? " At the conclusion of the solo I
went across the street to sing at an overflow meeting
in the famous Tolbooth Church. I had just begun to
sing, when the same voice was again heard, " Let me
oot ! Let me oot ! What would John Knox think of
the like of yon ? "
Professor Blaikie said in the Edinburgh Daily
Review at this time : " It is almost amusing to observe
how entirely the latent distrust of Mr. Sankey's " kist
o' whistles " has disappeared. There are different
ways of using the organ. There are organs in some
churches for mere display, as some one has said, ' with
Of His Own Life 69
a devil in every pipe ;' but a small harmonium, de-
signed to keep the tune right, is a different matter,
and is seen to be no hindrance to the devout and spir-
itual worship of God."
In 1874 my father visited Scotland, bringing with
him my two children. He frequently said to his
friends that he never enjoyed anything in his life as
much as this visit to Scotland.
In London, a little later, Gladstone, accompanied
by Lord Kinnaird, visited one of the meetings we were
holding at Agricultural Hall. At the conclusion of
the address Mr. Moody was introduced to the Grand
Old Man of England by Lord Kinnaird. " You have
a fine body for your profession," remarked Mr. Glad-
stone. " Yes, if I only had your head on it," Mr.
Moody replied, and then hurried away to an inquiry
meeting. The Princess of Wales and other mem-
bers of the royal family attended a number of our
meetings at Her Majesty's Theater, occupying their
private box. I was told by the Duchess of Sutherland
that the Princess was very fond of " Sacred Songs
and Solos," a copy of which I had the pleasure of pre-
senting to her. When the weather was not propi-
tious and she remained at home from her church
service, she would gather her children around the
piano and sing by the hour.
We remained in Great Britain this time for two
70 Sankey's Story
years, holding meetings in many of the leading cities
of England, Scotland and Ireland.
We found but little opposition to the use of
hymns and organs in Ireland, and our choirs con-
tained many people of the higher walks of life. It
was in the Exhibition Palace in Dublin that I first
sang, " What shall the harvest be ? " I was surprised
when Moody requested me never to sing it again in
the meetings, and for a while he took the precaution
personally to announce the solos that he wished to
have sung. I afterwards learned that his reason for
not wanting this hymn sung at his meetings was that
a prominent minister, after having heard the hymn
the first time I sang it, had remarked to Moody that
if I kept on singing such hymns I would soon have
them all dancing. However, when Moody did not
announce the solos he wished me to sing, I would
start up, " Sowing the seed in the daylight fair," and
after some time he began to give it out himself occa-
sionally, and, hearing no further criticism, ^the hymn
was from that time onward always sung in connection
with Moody's address on "Sowing and Reaping,"
Another instance of Mr. Moody's being influ-
enced against certain hymns, was in the case of the
hymn " Memories of Galilee." I first introduced this
hymn at one of our meetings at Newcastle-on-Tyne,
at which service a very prominent and distinguished
FRONT VIEW OF MR. SANKEYS HOUSE
Of His Own Life 73
lady was present. She expressed herself as not ap-
proving of this kind of hymns, and Mr. Moody at
once requested me to leave it out of " Sacred Songs
and Solos," which I was just then preparing. I told
him that I thought the song would certainly become
popular, and that I ver>' much needed some new solos,
and that I had already sent it on to the publishers. A
few months later this lady again heard me sing the
song, and after the meeting she told Mr. Moody that
she thought it was one of the most beautiful songs
she had ever heard. The song from this time became
a great favorite of us all.
Some of the comedians at the theaters tried to
make hits by changing our hymns and using our
names on the stage. This was always resented by
In imitation of the popular song, " He's a Fraud,"
an actor one evening sang at the Royal Theater in
Manchester some doggerel beginning, " We know that
Moody and Sankey are doing some good in their
way." It received both cheers and hisses from the
audience at first, but on a repetition of the words the
displeasure was so great that the comedian had to
leave the stage. At a circus in Dublin, on one occa-
sion, one clown said to another, " I am rather Moody
to-night ; how do you feel ? " The other responded,
*' I feel rather Sankey-monious." This by-play was
74 Sankey's Story
not only met with hisses, but the whole audience arose
and joined with tremendous effect in singing one of
our hymns, " Hold the fort, for I am coming."
While holding meetings at Burdett road, London,
in 1874, Mr. Moody and I one Saturday took a drive
out to Epping Forest. There we visited a gypsy
camp. While stopping to speak to two brothers wHo
had been converted and were doing good missionary
work, a few young gypsy lads came up to our car-
riage. I put my hand on the head of one of them ana
said ; " May the Lord make a preacher of you, my
Fifteen years later, when Gypsy Smith made his
first visit to America, I had the pleasure of taking him
for a drive in Brooklyn. While passing through Pros-
pect Park he asked me:
" Do you remember driving out from London one
day to a gypsy camp at Epping Forest ? " I replied
that I did. " Do you remember a little gypsy boy
standing by your carriage," he asked again, "and
you put your hand on his head, saying that you hoped
he would be a preacher ? "
" Yes, I remember it well."
" I am that boy," said Gypsy Smith.
My surprise can better be imagined than de-
scribed. Little had I thought that the successful
evangelist and fine gospel singer of whom I had
Of His Own Life 75
heard so much, and whom I had so much admired,
was the Httle boy I had met in the gypsy camp.
Truly God has granted my wish of fifteen years be-
fore, and has made a mighty preacher of the gypsy
During our meetings in Her Majesty's Theater at
Pall Mall a Mr. Studd, who had a great many fast
horses and fox-hounds, gave them all up and became
a follower of Christ. Mr. Studd's son was attending
Eton College, at Windsor, near the Queen's castle.
He and Mr. Graham, of Glasgow, a member of Par-
liament, invited us to go to Windsor and hold meet-
ings for the young Lords in the college. When it was
rumored that we would accept the invitation, the
subject was taken up and discussed in Parliament.
Although we were accustomed to devote Satur-
days to rest, we decided to give one Saturday to Eton
College. When we arrived at Windsor Station we
were met by Mr. Studd and Mr. Graham, and taken to
the home of a merchant. As there was so much
excitement in the town because of our coming, it was
decided that it would be best to hold the meetings in
this gentleman's garden. Mr. Graham gathered about
fifty of the students under a large apple tree in the
garden. There Mr. Moody gave a short address on
John 3: 16, and I sang a number of solos, including
" Pass me not, O gentle Saviour." We also distrib-
76 Sankey's Story
uted copies of " Sacred Songs and Solos " among the
students, who took an enthusiastic part in the singing.
Mr. Studd's son, who afterward became known as
one of the chief cricketers of England, was converted
at this meeting.
On one of our subsequent visits to Great Britain
this young man got up a large petition, inviting us to
Cambridge. The invitation to Cambridge we gladly
accepted, and arrived there on Guy Fawkes night.
When we entered the Corn Exchange, which was the
largest meeting room in town, we found it filled with
students. It was the largest religious meeting that
had ever been held in Cambridge. On reaching the
platform we found Mr. George E. Morgan, of " The
Christian," London, who was then a Cambridge stu-
dent, conducting the singing. Mr. Moody asked one
of the Dons to lead in prayer, after which he called
upon me to sing " The Ninety and Nine." The stu-
dents listened to the first verse in perfect silence, but
at its conclusion they vigorously beat the floor with
canes and umbrellas, and cried, '' Hear, hear ! " This
demonstration followed each verse to the end. Mr.
Moody's address for half an hour held the undivided
attention of his congregation. At the conclusion
some of the students attempted to stampede the
meeting, but a large majority remained and gathered
around us, saying : " These men must have fair play
Of His Own Life 77
while they are in Cambridge." Thus began a great
revival in that town. Hundreds of young men dated
their conversion from that time.
The news of the religious work at Cambridge
naturally spread to Oxford, and we were invited to
hold meetings there. We had hoped that the success
of our meetings at Cambridge would make the way
easier at Oxford. ' But a similar process had to be
gone through there. We stopped at the Bull's Head
Hotel, and held meetings for two weeks in a large
hall connected with that building, and eventually a
large number of students took their stand on the
One day as I was making some purchases in a
bookstore in London, a sailor came rushing in, saying :
" Give me a dozen little Sankey's, quick ! " The
hymn book " Sacred Songs and Solos " was usually
called " Sankey's."
While holding meetings at Campbeltown, on a
subsequent visit to Scotland, a drunken man stag-
gered into the meeting one evening, while Mr. Moody
was preaching. He had not been seated long before
he arose and said : " Mr. Moody, will you please stop
a bit, I want to hear Mr. Sankey sing ' The Ninety
and Nine.* Moody, with his marvelous tact, said:
" All right ; sit down, my friend, I will ask Mr. San-
key to sing for you." Those sitting near him said
78 Sankey's Story
he was visibly affected by the song. Later on when
the invitation was given to retire to the inquiry room
the man sitting next to this drunkard brought him in.
I sat down beside him and talked and prayed with him.
He said he was the black, as well as the lost sheep
of his family, and that he wanted to sign a pledge to
stop drinking. We did not use the pledge in those
days, but to please this man we hunted up a copy,
under which he signed his name, John McNeil. He
declared his intention to give up drink forever. For
many , evenings he came to our services, and always
went into the inquiry meetings. He told me that to
get away from temptation he used to take his mothers
Bible and his lunch, and for many days go into the
hills in the country. I corresponded with him for
over a year. He was said to have been one of the
most wicked men of his town, and had given the police
more trouble than any other man there, but he became
a humble follower of Christ.
*On the 3d of August, 1875, a great farewell meet-
ing was held for us in Liverpool. Several addresses
were made, one of some length by Mr. Moody. As
we took our departure on the " Spain " we left with
the most enthusiastic applause and evidences of good
will, the great crowd on the shore singing several of
our hymns as the vessel moved out of sight.
After our return to America, the first meeting
Of His Own Life 79
held was at Northfield, on the 9th of September, 1875.
There, among many others, Mr. Moody's mother, who
was a Unitarian, stood up for prayer. At this meet-
ing I first sang " The Ninety and Nine " in this
One day while crossing the Connecticut River on
a ferry, which was pulled across by a line stretched
over the river, Mr. Bliss and I were singing, " Pull
for the shore, sailor, pull for the shore," when we
noticed that the boat pulled unusually heavy, and on
investigating, found that Mr. Moody, who was sit-
ting in the rear, was pulHng back on the line with all
his might, so as to delay the trip, and give him a
chance to listen to the singing. This illustrates Mr,
Moody's fondness for singing. Although himself not
a singer, he used the service of praise more exten-
sively and successfully than any other man in the
Brooklyn was our next place to visit. Although
the first meeting, held in Clermont Avenue Rink, Oc-
tober 24, was at half past eight in the morning, the
hall, which had chairs for five thousand persons, was
packed full, and thousands were turned away for want
of room. I was assisted in the singing here by a choir
of two hundred and fifty voices. My first solo was,
" Rejoice and be glad ! the Redeemer has come ! " At
the second meeting, in the afternoon, fifteen thousand
8o Sankey's Story
persons had to be turned away for lack of accommo-
dation. From two to three hundred requests for
prayer would often be announced at these meetings.
At one of them a fine-looking young man came
into the inquiry room along with a number of others.
I asked him if he was willing to accept Christ as his
only Saviour. He bowed his head in his hands as
he sat by my side. With great earnestness, while his
whole frame shook with deepest feeling, he replied:
" Jesus will not accept me."
" Because I have been an infidel for many years,
a follower of Charles Bradlaugh, and for the last eight
years have not ceased to speak in private and public
against Christ. I have traveled over nearly all the
world, and have spoken everywhere against him and
all those who professed to be Christians ; now I fear
he will not forgive me for what I have done."
" Do you want him to forgive you ? " I asked.
" Well, sir," he said, " I do not know what is the
matter with me or why I am here to-night. Some
power that I do not understand has been working
upon me for the last two days, and I am in a despond-
ent state of mind."
I lifted my heart in prayer that I might make no
mistake in dealing with this man. I waited for a mo-
ment, and then said, " My dear friend, what you need
Of His Own Life 8i
to-night is Christ; he will dispel your gloom and
" But," he exclaimed, arousing himself from what
seemed to be a deep reverie, *' I have fought against
him all my life, and I thought I was right, too."
" Did you have peace in your heart when you
were preaching against Christ ? "
He looked up at me. " No, I was a coward," he
confessed. " I remember, while coming home from a
long journey on the sea, we were one night driven by
the storm near the rocks off a certain cape, and when
I thought we were sure to go to the bottom of the
sea, I got down on my knees and prayed to God to
save us. The storm died, and with it went my prayers.
For as soon as I thought we were safe, like a coward
I went back to my old ways, and denied that there
was a God."
" Well," I said, " let that go. What brought you
here to-night? "
" I don't know," he replied. " I have not been
in church for eight years; I have not spoken to a
Christian in that time, as I have lived entirely among
infidels and skeptics. But about a year ago I received
a letter from my poor old mother, away over in Dun-
dee, Scotland. She asked me to make her one
promise, that when Mr. Moody and Mr. Sankey came
back to America I would go to hear them, if they
82 Sankefs Story
came to the place where I was. I answered her that
I would. When you came here I thought I would
have to keep my word to my mother, so I went to the
Rink two nights in succession. Since that time I
have had no rest. Yesterday and to-day I have had
to close up my office. I am a civil engineer. I have
been walking the streets all day, thinking, thinking.
Not being acquainted with any Christians to whom
I could speak, I thought I would go once more to the
Rink. And now here I am, talking to you."
" My dear friend," I said, " it is an answer to
your mother's prayer. She may be praying for her
wandering boy this very night. Now, do not delay
any longer. Yield to Christ and he will receive you."
He bowed his head, while his trembHng form told
how deeply his heart was moved. After a hard strug-
gle he took my hand and said : " By the grace of God
I take Jesus Christ as my Saviour now ! "
After a word of prayer I asked him if he would
not write to Scotland at once and tell his mother all
about it, and he promised that he would. A few even-
ings later I met him at the door of the Rink. As he
came up to shake hands and bid me good bye I asked
him if he had written to his mother.
*' Oh, yes," said he, '' but not until I had sent her
a cable dispatch first."
" What did you say in the dispatch ? " I asked.
Of His Own Life 83
" Well, I just said, * I've found Jesus,' and signed
my name to it."
*' Thank the Lord," said I.
" Yes," he exclaimed, " that is just what my dear
old mother cabled back to me, * Thank the Lord, O
my soul.' "
Our first meeting in Philadelphia was held on
November 24, in the old Pennsylvania Railroad Depot,
which John Wanamaker fitted up for our use. It had
a seating capacity of more than ten thousand persons.
Here, as in Brooklyn, the leading ministers gave their
hearty support to the work and in every way expressed
their approval of the effort. On one occasion the
meetings were attended by President U. S. Grant, sev-
eral Senators, and members of the Supreme Court.
During my stay in Philadelphia I often visited the
home of Henry Clay Trumbull, then the editor of
" The Sunday School Times," who gave us his
heartiest support in every way. Among the laymen
who were very efficient helpers at our meetings were
John Wanamaker and George H. Stuart. Mr. Wana-
maker's special meetings for young men were largely
attended. Under Moody's powerful preaching many
conversions took place in Philadelphia.
A number of Princeton students attended the
meetings, and an invitation was extended to us to go
to Princeton to hold meetings there for the college
84 Sankey's Story
men, which we were glad to accept. In the Princeton
meetings we had the warm sympathy and co-operation
of President McCosh. Among the converts at
Princeton was Wilton Merle Smith, now one of the
leading ministers of New York City.
The old Hippodrome in New York, located where
Madison Square Garden is now, was the scene of our
next meetings, in February, March, and April of 1876.
It was the largest place of assembly in the city, though
a very unattractive structure. The building had never
been used for religious meetings before, but was a
place for sport and gaiety. The hall which we used,
the largest in the building, seated eight thousand. A
monster stage was built, large enough to hold the
choir of six hundred voices, and still to leave room
for at least four hundred visiting clergymen and
guests. Here for the first time I sang " Waiting and
Watching," which afterward became a great favorite.
Thurlow Weed, who frequently attended the meetings
and occupied a seat at the reporters' desk, would often
have written requests laid on my organ asking me to
sing this hymn. The New York meetings were very
successful. One day, near the close of the ten weeks'
cam.paign, an audience assembled which numbered
more than four thousand persons, all of whom con-
fessed that they had been converted at these meetings.
Our next large meetings were held in Chicago
Of His Own Life 85
during the fall of 1876, in a large Tabernacle erected
for the occasion by John V. Farwell. It was capable
of seating more than eight thousand. At one of these
meetings Mr. Moody's attention was attracted by an
usher with a wand in his hand, seating the people as
they came in. Mr. Moody did not like the man's ap-
pearance. He asked the chairman of the committee,
Mr. Harvey, who the usher was. Mr. Harvey replied
that he did not know, but would go and see. Taking
the man out into the inquiry room, Mr. Harvey learned
that his name was Guiteau — the man who afterward
shot President Garfield. So great was Mr. Moody's
power in reading character.
At the close of the three months' mission in Chi-
cago, a farewell service was held for those alone who
professed to have been brought to Christ during the
meetings, and it was attended by six thousand
Then, for six months, we conducted meetings in
Boston. On an average, three meetings a day were
held, in a large temporary building erected for the
occasion by a committee of wealthy gentlemen. Here
also we had the hearty co-operation of many promi-
nent ministers and laymen, among whom Dr. A. J.
Gordon, Dr. Joseph Cook, PhilHps Brooks, and Henry
M. Moore may be mentioned. Among those who
professed conversion at these meetings was H. M. F.
86 Sankey's Story
Marshall, who afterward removed to Northfield, and
there, under Mr. Moody's direction, erected a number
of the school buildings.
New Haven was our next field of labor. Many
of the Yale University students were here converted,
and afterward became useful ministers of the gospel
throughout the country.
At Hartford, which we next visited, Mark Twain
attended several of our meetings. On one occasion
P. T. Barnum, the famous showman, attended and re-
mained for an inquiry meeting, where it was my priv-
ilege to speak to him in regard to his spiritual condi-
tion. In our conversation he said : " Mr. Sankey, you
go on singing * The Ninety and Nine,' and when you
get that lost sheep in the fold we will all be saved."
I afterward learned that he was a Universalist.
For the next six months we conducted meetings
in the churches of St. Louis. Able assistance was,
rendered by the Rev. J. H. Brookes and other emi-
nent ministers. At one of the inquiry meetings I
asked a fine-looking man as he was leaving the meet-
ing, if he was a Christian. " No," he replied, " I am
On our first visit to California, we stopped at
Ogden, so as not to travel on Sunday, and went to
Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon. As soon as
it became known that we were in the citv, we were
Of His Own Life 87
invited by the Presbyterian minister to hold services
in his church, which we did. The interest at once
became so great that we decided to change our plans
and stay here for a couple of weeks. The church
soon became too small for the great crowds, and we
were invited to the Methodist Church, the largest in
the city. Many Mormons attended the meetings, and
one night two daughters of President Taylor went
into the inquiry room and professed conversion. The
solo singing was of great interest to the Mormons.
A gentleman from England, who had become a Mor-
mon, and who was collector of tithes, took a great
fancy to Mr. Moody, of whom he had heard much
from friends in England, and invited us to hold meet-
ings in the Mormon Tabernacle. This, however, we
declined. The Englishman said to Moody : " You
are all right, only you don't go far enough." When
Moody asked what he meant he said : " You do not
have the revelation of Joseph Smith in your Bible.*''
Moody answered that he was thankful for it; that
he had no gospel of man, and that if Joseph Smith
could have a revelation, D. L. Moody could have one
also. This closed their discussion. A great crowd of
people, among whom were many Mormons, came to
the station to bid us good bye. Mr. Moody never
visited Salt Lake City again.
Our work spread out in all directions, and hun-
88 Sankeys Story
dreds of cities were visited, not only throughout the
United States, but in Canada, and even in Mexico,
much blessing attending all the services.
At a meeting in Norfolk, as Mr. Moody was
about to begin his sermon, after I had sung a number
of hymns, the minister of the church stepped up and
said : " I want to make a little explanation to my peo-
ple; many of my members believe that Moody and
Sankey are one man, but brethren and sisters, this
man is Mr. Moody, and that man at the organ is Mr.
Sankey; they are not one person, as you supposed."
At Chattanooga the colored people boycotted our
meetings, the colored ministers taking ofifense because
they were not invited to take seats on the platform.
We arranged a special meeting for the colored people,
and were surprised to find the church nearly empty
when we arrived. But Moody was not to be defeated
in this way. He went out into the street and gave
personal invitation to hundreds of colored people,
and no further difficulty was experienced.
On one occasion, when I was leaving Chicago for
New York on an evening train, a gentleman took his
seat beside me. For some time nothing was said, but
after a while we got into a general conversation.
After discussing the weather and politics, we entered
upon the subject of religion. This finally led to the
discussion of Moody and Sankey. The stranger
Of His Ow7t Life 89
said that he had never had the pleasure of hearing
either of them. When I told him that I had often
heard Moody preach and Sankey sing, he seemed
much interested and asked:
"What kind of folks are they?"
" Oh, they are just common folks like you and
me," I replied.
His daughter, he said, had a cabinet organ and
they were all very fond of the " Gospel Hymns," and
he was sorry that he had not had the opportunity to
hear Sankey sing ' The Ninety and Nine ' before he
died. I told him I was much surprised, and asked
him what proof he had of Sankey's death. He replied
that he had seen it in the papers.
" It must be true if you have seen it in the
papers," I said.
By this time we were nearing the station where
my friend was to get out. Hearing the whistle blow,
he looked out of the window and remarked : " I have
enjoyed your company very much, but will soon have
to leave you now." 1
" I hardly think it is fair that we should part with-
out telling you that I am one of the men we have
been talking about," I said.
" Why, who are you ? " he asked.
" I am what is left of Sankey."
At this he reached for his gripsack, and giving me
90 Sa^ikey's Story
a quizzical look he said : " You can't play that on me,
old fellow ; Sankey is dead." Then he rushed for the
door, leavhig me to continue my journey alone.
During the years which followed, we made several
trips to Great Britain and held meetings in hundreds
of places. In the campaign of i88i-'84 we held
meetings in ninety-nine places in Scotland alone.
Mr. Moody was once asked if he had kept any record
of the number of converts at his meetings.
" Records ! " he exclaimed, '* why, they are only
kept in heaven."
In one of the recent revival meetings at Sheffield,
conducted by Torrey and Alexander, a man gave the
following testimony : " I found Christ in this hall in
1882, when Moody and Sankey were preaching the
gospel ; I was brought face to face with God, and in
the after-meeting Mr. Sankey led me to Christ, and I
am happy in him to-day."
" Well, now, that is refreshing," commented Mr.
Alexander. " When anybody asks you if revival con-
verts stand, you can speak of that one ; he looks as if
he is going to stay, too. As we have gone around the
world we have found that the best workers, as a gen-
eral rule, are either workers or converts of the Moody
and Sankey meetings. We have found them in India,
in Tasmania, and everywhere we have gone."
Lord Shaftesbury, speaking at a meeting in Exe-
Gf His Own Life 93
ter Hall, London, in the interest of evangelical work
in Ireland, said : " Therefore go on circulating the
Scriptures. I should have been glad to have had
also the circulation of some well-known hymns, be-
cause I have seen the effect produced by those of
Moody and Sankey. If they would only return to this
country they would be astonished at seeing the influ-
ence exerted by those hymns which they sung. A
week ago, when in Paris, I went to Belleville, the
very nest of the communists, and even in this quarter
I heard their hymns being sung. If we could get
something like that in Ireland a mighty influence
would be exerted."
" These American laymen," said another promi-
nent man, '' have wrought a work in Great Britain
which the Church of England itself feels in its inmost
heart. They are not, it is true, graduates of any uni-
versity ; they are men of the people, speaking the lan-
guage and using the methods not of the refined, but of
the generality. Yet they have probably left a deeper
impress of their individuality upon the men and
women of Great Britain than any other persons that
could be named."
On our last visit to Scotland, Mr. Moody and I
visited the town of Thursough, where we held a num-
ber of meetings. One of the ministers of the town
said he could not join in the service, because he did
94 Sankey's Story
not believe in using any other songs of praise than
those of David.
We were invited from here to the town of
Granton, still farther north, to hold a single service
in the established church of that place, the Presby-
terians being opposed to our methods. When arriv-
ing we found the town had been well placarded with
notices of our meetings, and the women and children
lined the streets to watch us as we passed by in a
carriage. Some one had gone through the town and
written underneath the posters : " Human Himes."
When arriving at the church we found it well filled,
but very cold, and there was no stove or furnace.
Before beginning the service Mr. Moody asked one
of the elders how they heated the church, to which
he replied : " Ah, mon, our minister heats it from the
pulpit." On our return to Thursough, while driving
along the road, we overtook a strange-looking little
man, wearing an old silk hat, a blue coat and checked
trousers, walking along with his wife. He called out :
" Stop, Johnny, we want to get in." As the driver
only smiled and drove on, I told him to stop. The
old couple climbed in and took seats. I asked the
old man if he had attended the Moody and Sankey
meeting that day, to which he replied : " No, our min-
ister does not believe in the sudden conversion that
they preach. I said : " That is Mr. Moody, beside
Of His Own Life 95
whom you are sitting," and Moody said : " And that
is Mr. Sankey, beside whom your wife is sitting."
The little man said: ''Oh, gentlemen, I have made
a mistake; I thought this was a public conveyance,"
and he arose to get out, after offering to pay for their
fare. We told him to sit still, as there was plenty
of room, and that the ride was as free as the gospel
we preached. At the end of the journey he thanked
us profoundly, saying we were different people than
he had thought we were, and went on his way to
Wick, where he was to attend a funeral.
One of the most delightful experiences of my life
was a trip to the Holy Land in 1898. I was accom-
panied by my wife, one of my sons, my brother, and
a few friends. One of the most genial members of
the company was the late Roswell P. Flower, with
whom we had the pleasure of traveling for more than
three months. We sailed from New York in Janu-
ary, made a short stop at Gibraltar, and dropped
anchor at Alexandria. Cairo we reached by rail.
We saw the pyramids, the Gizeh IMuseum, and the
Howling Dervishes ; made an excursion to Heliopolis,
and took the trip up the Nile to the First Cataract,
visiting the usual places, such as Luxor and Karnak.
At the latter place we met the old Arab who dis-
covered the mummy of Rameses H. We asked him if
he would allow us to take a snapshot of him. This
96 Sankefs Story
he at first refused, but the glint of the bright Egyp-
tian sun on the proffered piece of silver secured his
After spending about forty days in Egypt we
started for Palestine in March — by a provokingly slow
train from Cairo to Port Said, and thence by one of
the regular mail steamers to Jaffa. In the Holy Land
we followed much the usual round — exploring Jerusa-
lem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Bethany and other historic
spots, and sharing the profound emotions that forever
stir the hearts of Christian tourists in Palestine. On
our way home we visited Constantinople, returning
via Athens, Naples and Rome — and, of course, taking
in Mt. Vesuvius.
All through this trip — here so briefly outlined — I
had occasion to sing the " Gospel Hymns " many
times. The first evening in Cairo I visited the Amer-
ican Mission. I found the building well filled with
Americans, Egyptians and English. A man on the
platform was giving an address on temperance. The
room was divided by a partition about two feet high,
separating the natives from the foreigners. I made
my way to a seat among the Americans, and had not
been there long when a missionary beside me leaned
over and said : " Are you not Mr. Sankey ? " When I
replied that I was he said he hoped that I would sing
for them. I told him that, although I had come for
Of His Own Life 97
rest, I would gladly sing if they had a small organ
or piano on which I might accompany myself. There
being no instrument in the church, the matter was
dropped. A few minutes later a lady pressed her way
into the pew behind me and, leaning over toward me,
said : '' I am delighted to see you here to-night, and
I hope you will sing for us."
She proved to be a woman from my own county
in Pennsylvania. Being told that there was no instru-
ment in the church, she declared that she would soon
get one. She beckoned to four Egyptian soldiers to
follow her. In a few minutes they returned with a
small cabinet organ, which they placed on the plat-
form. At the conclusion of the address I gave a
service of song, lasting for a half hour, after which I
said good-night. But they refused to be satisfied, and
demanded more songs. Again a number of pieces
were rendered, and the service was finally closed.
While returning down the Nile I was often pre-
vailed upon by missionaries along the way where the
steamer stopped to give services of song. At several
of these services I found that the natives already knew
a number of our hymns.
In Jerusalem I started early one morning to visit
the Tower of David, which was located only a few
rods from the hotel. I was stopped by one of the
Sultan's soldiers, who informed me by signs and ges-
98 Sankey's Story
ticulations that I could not ascend the tower without
a permit from the captain of the guard. I secured the
desired permit by the use of a little bakhsheesh, and
was escorted up the winding stairway by a savage-
looking soldier carrying a gun. From the top of the
tower may be seen one of the grandest and most inter-
esting scenes in the world. I determined to have at
least one song in honor of King David before descend-
ing. Selecting one of the most beautiful psalms, the
I2ist, " I to the hills will lift mine eyes," I began to
sing at the top of my voice, using the grand old tune,
" Belmont." The soldier, not acquainted with that
kind of performance, and perhaps never having heard
a sacred song in his life, rushed up to where I stood,
looking quite alarmed. I knew that he could not un-
derstand a word of what I was singing, so I kept right
on to the end of the psalm. Coming to the conclusion
by this time that I was not likely to do any special
damage either to him or to myself, the guard smiled
and tipped his cap as I finished. By tipping him I
returned the salutation, and then we passed down into
the Street of David.
A few hours later our party visited that portion
of the city called Mount Zion, where we entered the
fine school erected by an English bishop for the chil-
dren of Jerusalem. We were greeted by the principal,
who proved to have been a member of my choir at the
Of His Own Life 99
meetings in London. I was invited to sing for the
children, and consented to do so if they would sing
for us first. I was much surprised to hear them sing
some of my own songs, as well as their native songs
in Arabic. I sang " The Ninety and Nine " and other
songs, much to the delight of the children.
Standing on the summit of the green hill far
away, outside the city wall, I sang the fine old gospel
hymn : " On Calvary's brow my Saviour died." While
at Constantinople I visited Robert College, where I
sang several hymns and gave an address to the Turk-
ish students; and also at the American and English
missions in that city I rendered my service of song.
In Rome I had the same pleasant experience, where I
held a number of services, both speaking and singing
in the English, American and Scotch churches.
On returning to America I visited the soldiers in
camp at Tampa, Florida, where I held several serv-
ices. I was here invited by Theodore Roosevelt, then
Colonel of the Rough Riders, to conduct services at
his camp, but a previous engagement prevented my
The following year I again visited Great Britain,
where I held services of " Sacred Song and Story " in
thirty cities and towns. The result was that my health
broke down. Later I lost my eyesight.
My friend, Dwight Lyman Moody, was born Feb-
loo Sankefs Story
rtiary 5, 1837, at Northfield, Massachusetts. His
father, who was a stone mason, died whefi the lad was
about four years old. Many years later Mr. Moody
was laying the corner-stone of the first building at
Northfield. His friends had secured a silver trowel
for him, but he refused to use it. He had been at
his mother^s home, and in the garret he had found
one of his father's old trowels with which he had
earned bread for the family.
" You may keep the silver trowel," Mr. Moody
said ; " this one is good enough for me."
Mr. Moody used to tell of how he earned his first
money by driving the neighbors' cows to and from
pasture at two cents a day. When he was eight years
old a man who owned a mortgage on his mother's little
farm came to the house one day and told the widow
that she must pay the mortgage or get out of the
house. The poor woman was sick at the time. She
turned over in the bed and prayed that God would
help her. Then she wrote to her brother, and he
helped her by paying the interest on the mortgage for
several years. At last, by economy and industry, the
family was able to clear off the mortgage and retain
the home. Many years afterward, by God's blessing,
young Dwight was able to secure the farm belonging
to the man who had once held the mortgage, and on
that farm is now located the school of Mount Her-
Of His Own Life loi
ition, established for the education of young men.
At the age of nineteen young Moody left the
farm and went to Boston, where he entered a shoe
store owned by his uncle. In Boston he was con-
verted through the preaching of Dr. Kirk, at the
Mount Vernon Church. After remaining in Boston
for some time, Moody went to Chicago, where he
found employment in a shoe store owned by a Mr.
Henderson. He made a good record in business, and
sold more shoes than any other clerk in the establish-
ment. And whenever Mr. Henderson heard of the
failure of any of his customers in the towns about
Chicago, he would always send Moody to collect the
debts, as he invariably arrived there ahead of all other
While he was thus engaged Mr. Moody did not
lose zeal in religious matters. He was very active in
the work of the Young Men's Christian Association,
and was soon elected president of the branch located
at Farwell Hall. He also became much interested in
Sunday-school work, hiring a saloon for use on
In his Sunday-school was a wicked and unruly
young man, who constantly disturbed the exercises.
Mr. Moody remonstrated with him a number of times,
but to no avail. Finally, taking the young man into
an adjoining room, He gave him a severe chastising.
I02 Sankey's Story
When Moody returned, flushed with excitement, he
said to his assistant superintendent: "I think I have
saved that young man." And truly he had, for from
that time the young disturber became an earnest
Christian, and was one of Moody's warmest and best
supporters for many years. Mr. Moody's Sunday-
school work grew until he had one of the largest
schools in Chicago, in what was known as the Illinois
Street Church. There I joined him in 1871, acting
as his chorister until we went to England in 1873,
after which we continued to work together for about
a quarter of a century.
Dwight L. Moody was the greatest and noblest
man I have ever known. His strongest characteristic
was common sense. The poor heard him gladly, as
they did his Master of old ; the rich and learned were
charmed by his simple, earnest words. He will not
only be remembered for his extended evangelistic
work, but also for the two noble schools which he
Those schools at Northfield and Mount Hermon,
Massachusetts, originated in this way: One day, in
the early seventies, Mr. Moody drove up into the
mountains near his mother's home. Stopping at a
much dilapidated farmhouse, he hitched his horse to
the fence and went in. The man of the family was
sick in bed ; the mother and two daughters were mak-
Of His Own Life 103
ing straw hats, by which to support the family.
Moody said to them :
"What are you going to do? This old farm is
unable to maintain your family."
The girls answered that if they could obtain an
education in some way they might afterward be
able to earn sufficient money for the support of their
" Well, let us pray about it," said Moody. After
the prayer he gave them a little money, got into
his carriage, and started back down the mountain to
the village. I met him on his return, and he said to
me : " I have made up my mind to start a school for
poor girls in New England." Later it was proposed
to utilize the royalty received from our hymn-books
for the erection of buildings.
To this I heartily agreed, and this was the begin-
ning of the now famous Northfield schools. The first
students in the school were the poor girls who were
making the straw hats. The stor)^ of these two girls,
and of Mr. IMoody's visit to them, I told some years
afterward to a number of summer guests at Lake
Mohonk. The proprietor of the hotel, Mr. Smiley,
being much impressed, took his hat and collected
among the guests $1,500 for the school. On receiv-
ing the offering next day. Moody said to me that it
was the most providential thing, as they were just that
I04 Sankey's Story
amount short in making up the annual accounts of the
Some time after the estabhshment of the girls*
school a wealthy gentleman from New Haven was
visiting Northfield. He sought Mr. Moody's advice
concerning the making of his will, and Mr. Moody
said: "Be your own executor and have the joy of
giving your own money." He then asked Mr. Moody
to suggest a worthy object, and Mr. Moody outlined
his plan for a boys' school.
" I will give $25,000 to commence with," said the
old, white-haired man.
The offer was gladly accepted. It was this money
which Mr. Moody used for buying the farm of the
man who had ordered his widowed mother from her
home. On this farm, situated four and a half miles
from the girls' school, across the Connecticut River,
are now located a number of buildings, in which
young men from all over the world are educated.
About a thousand students attend the schools every
year. One hundred dollars a year is charged for
each student, but pupils are expected to do whatevet
work they can to help along.
After forty-four years of faithful and consecrated
labor for his Master, Mr. Moody passed on to his
reward December 22^ 1899.
The last meeting Mr. Moody and I held together
Of His Ow7i Life 105
was in Dr. Storrs' church, in Brooklyn. His subject
at this time was '' Mary and Alartha." I had often
hstened to him speaking on these two friends of Jesus
before, but never with greater pleasure than on this
occasion. His heart seemed very tender, as he talked
in a quiet and sympathetic way about Mary, Martha,
and their brother Lazarus, and the love and sympathy
that existed between them and Jesus. The hearts of
all present seemed deeply moved, and many strong
men, unused to tears, were unable to hide their emo-
tion. Hundreds tarried after the meeting to shake
hands, many recalling memories of blessings received
in the meetings in this city twenty-five years before.
Mr. Moody seemed to have just as much power and
unction upon him in this meeting as I had ever wit-
nessed during all the long years of our united labors.
Little did I think that this was to be our last service
together. A few weeks later I spent a Sunday with
him in New York, walking with him to Dr. Hall's
church and back to the hotel, where we parted for
the last time.
On my way from Canada I stopped over one night
in Rochester to hold a service of " Sacred Song and
Story," and there I received the last letter from him.
It was dated at Northfield, November 6, 1899, con-
taining nine pages, in which he spoke of his work in
Northfield and Chicago. He also told me he was
io6 Sankey's Story
due in New York at 3.30 on Wednesday, and asked
if I could meet him at the Murray Hill Hotel. I at
once telegraphed that I would come down on the
night express and see him the next morning. When
I arrived he had gone. I learned later that he went
to Philadelphia on Wednesday evening, spending an
hour with friends there, and took the night train for
Kansas City, where he fell in the front of the battle,
as brave a soldier of the cross as ever won a victor's
♦I^EFORE sending: forth this book on its
Ifj mission I wish to express my thank-
fuhiess to Almigfhty God for havingf
permitted me to live, move and have my
being: ; for the promise which he hath gfiven
of eternal life througfh his name ; and for the
confidence that I shall be with him by and by
in the land where there is no more pain,
sorrow or death, and where he shall wipe all
tears from our eyes*
My three latest favorite song:s, ^ Hidingf
in Thee,'' '^Therell be no Dark VaUey,''
and ^ Saved by Grace,'' besides the old famil-
iar *^ Ninety and Nine," are herewith re-
produced, as an appropriate closing: for this
Hiding in Thee*
Rbv. William O. Gushing.
Copyright, 1877, by Biglow A Main.
Ira D. Sanket.
Used by permission
1. O safe
2. In the calm
3. How oft
"' '" V
the Rock that is high - er than I,
the noon - tide, in sor - row's lone hour,
the con - flict, when press'd by the foe,
My soul in its con - flicts and sor - rows would fly;
In times when temp - ta - tion casts o'er me its power;
I have fled to my Ref . uge and breath 'd out my woe;
So sin - ful, BO wea - ry, Thine, Thine would I be;
In the tern • pests of life, on its wide, heav - ing sea;
How oft - en, when tri • als like sea - bil - lows roll.
: £ — r
Thou blest "Rock of A - ges," I'm hid - ing in Thee.
Thou blest "Rock of A -ges," I'm hid - ing in Thee.
Have I hid - den in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.
Hid - ing in Thee, Thou blest "Rock of A - ges," I'm hid - ing
There'll Be No Dark Valley.
Rbt. Whxiam O. CusHrxs.
CopTTight. 1896, by Tlie Biglow & Miin Co.
Ira D. Saxket,
Used by permission
'^- S" :^ * *• " "*' ■*"• ■*"
1. There'll be no dark val - ley when Je - sns comes, There'll be no dark
2. There'll be no more eor - row when Je - sue comes, There'll be no more
3. There'll be no more weep- ing when Je - sua comes, There'll be no more
4. There'll be songs of greet -ing when Je - sua comes, There'll be songs of
val - ley when Je - bus comes; There'll be no dark val - ley when Je - sue comes
Bor - row when Je - sas comes; But a glorious mor - row when Je - sus comes
weep-ing when Je - bus comes; But a bless-cd reap -ing when Je - sus comes
greet-ing when Je - 6us comes; And a joy - ful meet-ing when Je gus comes
To gath - er His loved ones home.
To gath • er His loved ones
s g s ; ^ ^
> * w
home, To gath - er His loved ones home; There'll be
safe home, safe home;
\*J "•■ ^ -^- :«: -^
no dark val ■ ley when Je - eus comes To gath-er His loved ones home.
Coprright. 1905, by Ira D San key.
Faknt J. Cbosbt.
Saved by Grace*
Copjrright, 1894, by The Biglow & Main Co.
Geo. C. Stebbinb.
Used by permission
1. Some day the sil - ver cord will break, And I no more as now shall sing;
2. Some day my earth -ly house will fall, I can - not tell how soon 'twill be,
3. Some day.when fades the gold-en sun Be-neath the ro' - sy-tint-ed west,
4. Some day; till then I'll watch and wait, My lamp all trimm'dand burning bright,
r- r r
But, O, the joy when 1 shall wake Within the pal ace of the Kingl
But this I know— my All in All Has now a place in heav'n for me.
My bless -ed Lord8hall8ay,"Welldone!" And I shall en - ler in - to rest.
That when my Sav - iour ope's the gate. My soul to Him may take its flight.
—mr=r. m> m —
N — ,
And I shall
n - -^ *
see Him face to
^ ^ shall see
— * r- -r- f-
' 1- - — ■
face, And tell
1 to face.
• ^ r— r — r — r-
i*~ '^ P L "^ ■
' ^ S ^ ^ ^ '^ '
L ^ e: 5J,-
-5 — '
face, And tell the etc - ry— Saved by grace.
I to face, f^T^
B. C. Clkphahj.
The Ninety and Nine*
Copyright: 1874, by The Biglow & Main Co,
Ira D. Samkxt.
1. There were nine-ty ana nine that safe - ly lay In the shel • ter of the
2. ''Lord, Thou hast here Thy nine - ty and nine; Are they not e - nough for
none of the ran-somed ev - er knew How deep were the wa- ters
fold, But one was out on the hills a - way, Far off from the
Theef" But the Shep-herd made an swer: '' This of mine Has wan - dered
cross'd ; Nor how dark was the night that the Lord pass'd thro' Ere He found His
gates of gold— A way on the moun tains wild and bare, A -
a way from me, And, al though the road be rough and steep, 1
sheep that was logt; Out m the des - ert He heard its cry —
way from the tender Shepherd's care, A-way from the ten-der Shep-herd's care,
go to the desert to find my sheep, I go to the desert to find my gheep.
Sick and helpless, and read y to die, Sick and helpless, and ready to die.
Used by pe
4 "Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way
That mark out the mountain's track?"
"They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back. "
"Lord, whence arc Thy hands so rent and torn?''
"They are pierced to-night by many a thorn."
5 But all thro' the mountains, thunder-riven,
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of heaven,
"Rejoice! I nave found my sheep!"
And the Angels echoed around the throne,
"Rejoicel for the Lord brings back His ownl '*
SANKEY'S STORY OF
THE GOSPEL HYMNS
SANKEY'S STORY OF THE
A Mighty Fortress
Words by Martin Luther Music by Martin Luther
"A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing."
Martin Luther, the great leader of the Reforma-
tion, is the author of both the words and music of this
famous hymn, probably written in 1521. Two of the
most popular English translations are by the Rev. Dr.
F. H. Hedge and Thomas Carlyle.
While Luther was still living his enemies in the
Roman Catholic Church declared that the whole Ger-
man people were singing themselves into Luther's
doctrines, and that his hymns " destroyed more souls
than all his writings and sermons."
During the prolonged contest of the Reformation
period "A Mighty Fortress" was of incalculable benefit
and comfort to the Protestant people, and it became the
national hymn of Germany. Gustavus Adolphus, the
hero of the Thirty Years' War, used it as his battle-
hymn, when he led his troops to meet Wallenstein.
The first line of this hymn is inscribed on Luther's
monument in Wittenburg. Luther himself found great
comfort in his hymn. When dangers thickened around
1 1 8 Sankey's Story
him he would turn to his companion, Melanchthon,
and say : ''Come, Philip, let us sing the 46th Psalm" —
and they would sing it in this characteristic version.
In 1720 a remarkable revival began in a town in
Moravia. Jesuits opposed it, and the meetings were
prohibited. Those who still assembled were seized and
imprisoned in stables and cellars. At David Nitsch-
mann's house, where a hundred and fifty persons gath-
ered, the police broke in and seized the books. Not
dismayed, the congregation struck up the stanza of
"And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us."
Twenty heads of families were for this sent to jail, in-
cluding Nitschmann, who was treated with special
severity. He finally escaped, fled to the Moravians at
Herrnhut, became a bishop, and afterwards joined the
Wesleys in 1735 in their expedition to Savannah,
A Shelter in the Time of Storm
Words by V. J. Charlesworth Music by Ira D. Sankey
"The Lord's our Rock, in Him we hide,
A shelter in the time of storm."
I found this hymn in a small paper published in
London, called '' The Postman." It was said to be a
favorite song of the fishermen on the north coast of
England, and they were often heard singing it as they
Of the Gospel Hymns 119
approached their harbors in the time of storm. As
the hymn was set to a weird minor tune, I decided to
compose one that would be more practical, one that
could be more easily sung by the people.
A Sinner Forgiven
Words by Jeremiah J. Callahan Music by I. B. Woodbury
** To the hall of the feast came the sinful and fair;
She heard in the city that Jesus was there.
"Mr. F. Markham, connected with a large and
well-known piano factory, was leading an ungodly
and heedless life," says a London periodical. " One
day he saw an announcement that Moody and Sankey
were to open a mission at St. Pancras that evening.
Instantly he resolved to go and hear the singing. He
and a companion reached the hall in good time, as
they thought, only to find it crowded to the doors. An
overflow meeting was announced at a neighboring
church, and thither they went. By and by Mr. Sankey
sang 'To the hall of the feast came the sinful and fair.'
As Markham hstened, his past life seemed to rise be-
fore him ; the tears rushed into his eyes ; his heart
seemed broken. Coming out, he asked his companion
what he thought of it. ' Oh,' was the careless reply,
' he is a nice singer.' ' Is that all ? It has broken my
heart.' Ere long he could say, in the words of the
song, 'He looked on his lost one; my sins are for-
given.' When he got home his wife was amazed at
what had come over him, and could not make out
where he had been. She had been converted years
I20 Sankey's Story
before, but had backslidden. She accompanied him to
the mission on the following evening, and was happily
received. The man became a Christian worker, and is
the founder and superintendent of the Tahhall Road
Factory Lads' Home and Institution.
Abide With Me
Words by H. F. Lyte Music by William H. Monk
"Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens — Lord, with me abide."
One of the many instances of the power of this hymn
has been recorded by Dr. Theodore L. Cuyler : " Dur-
ing my active pastorate I often got better sermons from
my people than I ever gave them. I recall now a most
touching and sublime scene that I once witnessed in
the death-chamber of a noble woman who had suffered
for many months from an excruciating malady. The
end was drawing near. She seemed to be catching a
foregleam of the glory that awaited her. With trem-
ulous tones she began to recite Henry Lyte's matchless
hymn, * Abide with me ! Fast falls the eventide.* One
line after another was feebly repeated, until, with a
rapturous sweetness, she exclaimed:
'Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee!
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.'
" As I came away from that room, which had been
41s the vestibule of heaven, I understood how the ' light
of eventide ' could be only a flashing forth of the over-
Of the Gospel Hymns 121
whelming glory that plays forever around the throne
Henry Francis Lyte wrote this hymn in 1847, i"
his fifty-fourth year, when he felt the eventide of life
approaching. For twenty years he had ministered to
a lowly congregation in Devonshire. He decided to
spend the next winter in Italy, on account of rapidly
declining health. On a Sunday in September — in
weakness, and against the advice of his friends — he
preached a farewell sermon to his much-loved people,
and in the evening of the same day he wrote this im-
mortal hymn. He died a few weeks later, his last
words being "Peace, joy 1"
All to Christ I Owe
Words by Mrs. Elvina M. Hall Music by John T. Grapa
"1 hear the Saviour say,
Thy strength indeed is small."
" Our church was undergoing some alterations,"
writes Mr. Grape, " and the cabinet organ was placed
in my care. Thus afforded a pleasure not before en-
joyed, I delighted myself in playing over our Sunday-
school hymns. I determined to give tangible shape to
a theme that had been running in my mind for some
time — to write, if possible, an answer to Mr. Brad-
bury's beautiful piece, 'Jesus paid it all.' I made it a
matter of prayer and study, and gave to the public the
music, now known as the tune to 'All to Christ I owe.*
It was pronounced very poor by my choir and my
friends, but my dear wife persistently declared that it
122 Sankefs Story
was a good piece of music and would live. Time has
proved the correctness of her judgment. Soon after
the Rev. Mr. Schrick called on me to select anything
new in music that I had to offer. On hearing this
piece he expressed his pleasure with it, and stated
that Mrs. Elvina M. Hall had written some words
which he thought would just suit the music. I gave
him a copy of it, and it was soon sung in several
churches and well received. At the suggestion of
friends, I sent a copy to Professor Theodore Perkins,
and it was published in 'Sabbath Chords.* Under the
providence of God, it has been going ever since. I
trust that it has not failed in the accomplishment of
some good to my fellow-men, for the glory of God."
On New Year's night, 1886, some missionaries
were holding open-air services in order to attract
passers-by to a near-by mission, where meetings were
to be held later. "All to Christ I owe" was sung, and
after a gentleman had given a short address he
hastened away to the mission. He soon heard foot-
steps close behind him and a young woman caught up
with him and said :
" I heard you addressing the open-air meeting
just now; do you think, sir, that Jesus could save a
sinner like me?"
The gentleman replied that there was no doubt
about that, if she was anxious to be saved. She told
him that she was a servant girl, and had left her place
that morning after a disagreement with her mistress.
As she had been wandering about the streets in the
Of the Gospel Hymns 123
dark, wondering where she was to spend the night, the
sweet melodies of this hymn had attracted her, and
she drew near and listened attentively. As the differ-
ent verses were being sung, she felt that the words
surely had something to do with her. Through the
whole service she seemed to hear what met her op-
pressed soul's need at that moment. God*s Spirit had
showed her what a poor, sinful and wretched creature
she was, and had led her to ask what she must do.
On hearing her experience, the gentleman took her
back to the mission and left her with the ladies in
charge. The young, wayward woman was brought to
Christ that night. A situation was secured for her
in a minister's family. There she became ill and had
to be taken to a hospital. She rapidly failed and it
became evident that she would not be long on earth.
One day the gentleman whom she met on New Year's
night was visiting her in the ward. After quoting a
few suitable verses of Scripture, he repeated her
favorite hymn, "All to Christ I owe." On coming to
the fourth verse —
** When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
Then 'Jesus paid it all/
Shall rend the vaulted skies,"
she seemed overwhelmed with the thought of coming
glory, and repeated the chorus so precious to her,
"Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe."
Two hours afterward she passed away.
124 Sankey's Story
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"'Almost persuaded/ now to believe;
* Almost persuaded,' Christ to receive."
" He who is almost persuaded is almost saved,
and to be almost saved is to be entirely lost," were the
words with which the Rev. Mr. Brundage ended one
of his sermons. P. P. Bliss, who was in the audience,
was much impressed with the thought, and immedi-
ately set about the composition of what proved to be
one of his most popular songs.
One of the most impressive occasions on which
this hymn was sung was in the Agricultural Hall in
London, in 1874, when Mr. Gladstone was present.
At the close of his sermon Mr. Moody asked the con-
gregation to bow their heads, while I sang "Almost
Persuaded." The stillness of death prevailed through-
out the audience of over fifteen thousand, as souls
were making their decisions for Christ.
"While engaged in evangelistic work in western
Pennsylvania," writes the Rev. A. J. Furman, " I
saw the people deeply moved by singing. I had begun
my preparation to preach in the evening, from the
text, 'Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian,*
when it occurred to me that if Mrs. B , an estimable
Christian and a most excellent singer, would sing,
'Almost Persuaded' as a solo, great good might be
done. At once I left the room and called on the
lady, who consented to sing as requested. When I
Of the Gospel Hymns 125
had finished my sermon, she sang the song with won-
derful pathos and power. It moved many to tears.
Among them was the principal of the high school,
who could not resist the appeal through that song.
He and several others found the Pearl of Great Price
before the next day. After the close of the sermon, I
spoke to Mrs. B about the effect of her singing,
and she told me that she had been praying earnestly
all that afternoon, that she might so sing as to win
sinners for her Saviour that night, and her prayers
were surely answered."
" It was Sunday night, November 18, 1883,"
writes Mr. S. W. Tucker, of Clapton, London, "when
I heard you sing 'Almost Persuaded' in the Priory
Hall, Islington, London, and God used that song in
drawing me to the feet of Jesus. I was afraid to trust
myself in His hands for fear of man. For six weeks
that hymn was ringing in my ears, till I accepted the
invitation. I came, and am now rejoicing in the Lord,
my Saviour. How often, with tears of joy and love,
have I thought of those meetings and of you and dear
Mr. Moody, who showed me and other sinners where
there was love, happiness and joy." ;
Said a young man to the Rev. Mr. Young : *'I in-
tend to become a Christian some time, but not now.
Don't trouble yourself about me. I'll tend to it in good
time." A few weeks after, the man was injured in a
Saw-mill, and, as he lav dying, Mr. Young was called
to him. He found him in despair, saying: "Leave
126 Sankey's Story
me alone. At your meeting I was almost persuaded,
but I would not yield, and now it is too late. Oh,
get my wife, my sisters and my brothers to seek God,
and do it now, but leave me alone, for I am lost."
Within an hour he passed away, with these words on
his lips, "I am lost, I am lost, just because I would
not yield when I was almost persuaded."
Are You Coming Home To-night ?
Words by C. C. Music by James McGranahan
" Are you coming Home, ye wand'rers
Whom Jesus died to win?"
A wild young soldier was induced to attend a Gos-
pel meeting in London. As he entered, the congrega-
tion was singing " Are you coming Home to-night ? "
The song made a deep impression upon him. He
came back the next night, and he continued to attend
until he was saved. " I had to come," he said ; " that
hymn would not let me stay away. I could not sleep
at night. All night long that question of the song,
both in the words and music, kept returning to me,
demanding an answer: *Are you coming Home to-
The original of this hymn was written by a young
lady in Scotland, who signed herself '* C. C." Falling
into Mr. McGranahan's hands, he arranged the poem
somewhat differently, and set the words to music.
The song has brought blessing to many.
Of the Gospel Hymns 129
Arise, My Soul, Arise
Words by Charles Wesley Music by Lewis Edson
"Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears."
First published in 1742 under the title, ''Behold
the Man," this became one of the most useful of
Charles Wesley's numerous hymns. In universal use
in English countries, and translated into many lan-
guages, it has been the direct instrumentality in the
conversion of thousands of souls. It has found ex-
pression in the exultant cry on the lips of many a
''I have a record," said a Wesleyan missionary
laboring in the West Indies, ''of two hundred persons,
young and old, who received the most direct evidence
of the forgiveness of their sins while singing 'Arise,
my soul.' The conversion of the greater number of
these persons took place while I was a missionary
Art Thou Weary ?
Words by the Rev. J. M. Neale, trans. Music by the Rev. Henry W. Baker
" Art thou weary, art thou languid,
Art thou sore distressed?"
"Some years ago," writes Mr. James A. Watson,
of Blackburn, England, "I often visited one of our
adult Sunday-school scholars who had just been
brought to the knowledge of the Saviour. She was
formerly a Roman Catholic, but was brought to our
church one Sunday evening by a fellow-worker in a
cotton mill. She heard a gospel of full and free sal-
vation, embraced it, and gradually became a faith-filled,
consistent Christian. She w'as laid low with a serious
130 Sa7ikeys Story
illness, but it was always a pleasure to visit her. On
one occasion she told me that the evening before, when
she had been left alone for the night, a cloud came
over her spirit, the sense of loneliness grew upon her,
and she seemed forsaken of God. All looked blacky
and she dreaded the long, lone night. This was a
most unusual thing- and she wondered why it should
be so. Just then, in the quiet night, she heard steps
on the flags of the foot-way. A man wearing the clogs
of the factory operator was coming along, evidently
returning late from some religious meeting. He was
full of joy, for before he reached the house where my
scholar was lying awake, he struck up in a joyful and
"Art thou weary, art thou languid?
Art thou sore distressed?
'Come to Me,' saith One;
And coming, be at rest!"
The singer, 'an angel in clogs,' went on his way, sing-
ing aloud out of a full heart ; but deep down into the
heart of the lonely woman went the words, 'Be at rest !'
Again she cast herself upon the Lord ; the cloud
parted, peace and rest filled her heart, and she doubted
Asleep in Jesus
Words by Mrs. Margaret Mackay Music by W, B. Bradbury
"Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep!
From which none ever wake to weep."
" I had been driven in a friend's pony-carriage
through some of the exquisite green lanes in Devon-
shire," wrote the author of this hymn the year before
her death. '' We paused at Pennycross, attracted by
Of the Gospel Hyjnns 131
a rural burial-ground, and went in to look at the
graves. It was a place of such sweet, entire repose
as to leave a lasting impression on the memon,-. There
were no artificial walks or decorations, but the grass
was very green, and there were no unsightly signs of
neglect. On one of the stones were the words,
* Sleeping in Jesus.' It was in such entire keeping with
the lovely and peaceful surroundings that it clung to
my thoughts. On arriving at home I took a pencil
and commenced writing the hymn, little thinking that
i1 was destined to find so much favor, and that part of
it would be inscribed on many tombstones."
Mrs. Mackay was born in Scotland, and died at
Cheltenham, England, in 1887, at the age of eighty-
five. Her husband was a distinguished lieutenant-
colonel in the British army.
At the Cross
Words by Isaac Warts Music by R. E. Hudson
'■'Alas! and did my Saviour bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?"
*' At the Cross " is tlie name of the new tune by
R. E. Hudson for the old hymn by Watts, " Alas, and
did my Saviour bleed." The words were first pub-
lished in Watts' " Hymns and Spiritual Songs," in
1707. under the title, " Godly Sorrow Arising from the
Sufferings of Christ." In " Sacred Songs and Solos '*
the new tune is used to the hymn " I'm not ashamed
to own my Lord."
The children's evangelist. E. P. Hammond,
credits this hymn with his conversion, when he was
cnlv seventeen vears old.
132 Sankey's Story
Words by Robert Lowry Music by Robert Lowry
"Shall we gather at the river
Where bright angel feet have trod?"
On a sultry afternoon in July, 1864, Dr. Lowry
was sitting at his study table in Elliott Place, Brooklyn,
when the words of the hymn, " Shall wt gather at the
river?" came to him. He recorded them hastily, and
then sat down before his parlor organ and composed
the tune which is now sung in all the Sunday-schools
of the world. In speaking of the song, Dr. Lowry
'' It is brass-band music, has a march movement,
and for that reason has become popular, though, for
myself, I do not think much of it. Yet on several
occasions I have been deeply moved by the singing of
this very hymn. Going from Harrisburg to Lewisburg
once I got into a car filled with half-drunken lumber-
men. Suddenly one of them struck up, ' Shall we
gather at the river?' and they sang it over and over
again, repeating the chorus in a wild, boisterous way.
I did not think so much of the music then, as I listened
to those singers ; but I did think that perhaps the spirit
of the hymn, the words so flippantly uttered, might
somehow survive and be carried forward into the lives
of those careless men, and ultimately lift them upward
to the realization of the hope expressed in the hymn.
A different appreciation of it was evinced during the
Robert Raikes centennial. I was in London, and had
gone to a meeting in the Old Bailey to see some of the
most famous Sunday-school workers of the world.
Of the Gospel Hymns 133
They were present from Europe, Asia and America.
I sat in a rear seat alone. After there had been a num-
ber of addresses deHvered in various languages I was
preparing to leave, when the chairman of the meeting
announced that the author of * Shall we gather at the
river?* was present, and I was requested by name to
come forward. Men applauded and women waved
their handkerchiefs as I went to the platform. It was
a tribute to the hymn ; but I felt, after it was over, that
I had perhaps done some little good in the world."
The year after it was written, on Children's Day,
in Brooklyn, when the assembled Sunday-schools of
the city met in bewildering array, this song was sung
by more than forty thousand voices. There was not
a child from the gutter or a mission waif who did not
An American lady writing from Cairo, who was
allowed to visit the military hospital soon after some
wounded men had been brought in from a skirmish,
says : " The three hours we could stay were full of
work for heart and hand. One young soldier from a
Highland regiment especially excited my interest. He
had lost a limb, and the doctor said he could not live
through the night. I stopped at his side to see whether
there was anything that I could do for him. He lay
with closed eyes ; and as his lips moved I caught the
w^ords, ' Mother, mother.' I dipped my handkerchief
'in a basin of iced water, and bathed his forehead where
the fever flushes burned.
134 Sankey s Story
*' 'Oh, that is good!' he said, opening his eyes.
Seeing me bending over him, he caught my hand and
kissed it. ' Thank you, lady,' he said ; * it 'minds me o'
" I asked him if I could write to his mother. No,
he said ; the surgeon had promised to write ; but could
I; would I, sing to him? I hesitated a moment, and
looked around. The gleam on the yellow water of the
Nile, as the western rays slanted down, caught my eye
and suggested the river the streams of which shall
make glad the city of God. I began to sing in a low
voice the gospel hymn, ' Shall we gather at the river? '
Eager heads were raised around us to listen more in-
tently, while bass and tenor voices, weak and tremu-
lous, came in on the chorus, —
'Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.'
'' When the song was ended, I looked into the face
of the boy — for he was not over twenty — and asked,
* Shall you be there ? '
" ' Yes, ril be there, through what the Lord Jesus
has done for me ? ' he answered, with his blue eyes
shining, while a 'light that never was on sea or land *
irradiated his face. The tears gathered in my eyes as
I thought of the mother, in her far-off Scottish home,
watching and waiting for tidings of her soldier boy,
who was breathing away his life in an Egyptian hos-
" ' Come again, lady, come again,' I heard on all
Of the Gospel Hym7is 135
sides as we left the barracks. I shall go ; but I shall
not find my Scottish laddie, for by to-morrow's reveille
he will have crossed the river."
Beautiful Valley of Eden
Words by the Rev. W. O. Gushing Music by William F. Sherwin
"Beautiful valley of Eden!
Sweet is thy noon-tide calm."
" One day in 1875 ^ was reaching up for a bless-
ing," says the author of these words, **when suddenly
there came down upon my heart a vision of the heav-
enly country. I seemed to look down upon a river
that like a mighty tide rolled beneath me. Across, on
the other side of this river, I saw an enchanted land ; its
hills and valleys were sleeping in a heavenly calm. It
was more beautiful than words can tell, and my heart
seemed to be there. As I gazed on the scene, there
came to my lips the words, ' Beautiful valley of Eden.'
The vision remained until I had written down the
hymn; then it gradually faded from my sight. But I
want to say that the beauty of the hymn is largely due
to Mr. Sherwin, who, by his rich melody, has reached
a deeper chord than any mere words could ever have
Words by E. P. Stites Music by John R. Sweney
"I've reached the land of corn and wine.
And all its riches freely mine."
First sung at Ocean Grove, New Jersey, at a great
gathering of Methodists, this hymn at once became
very popular. It has been sung in every land where
136 Sankey's Story
the name of Christ is known. The secretary of the
Young Men's Christian Association at Plymouth, Eng-
land, wrote me a beautiful story of a young lady, who
sang it on her dying bed as she passed into the land
that is fairer than day.
I sang this favorite song over the dead body of my
friend, Mr. Sweney, at the church of which he was a
leading member, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, on
the day of his burial.
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by Mrs. Joseph F. Knapp
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O, what a foretaste of glory divine!"
" During the recent war in the Transvaal," said a
gentleman at my meeting in Exeter Hall, London, in
1900, " when the soldiers going to the front were pass-
ing another body of soldiers whom they recognized,
their greetings used to be, * Four-nine-four, boys ; four-
nine-four;' and the salute would invariably be an-
swered with ' Six further on, boys ; six further on.'
The significance of this was that, in ' Sacred Songs
and Solos,' a number of copies of the small edition of
which had been sent to the front, number 494 was,
* God be with you till we meet again ;' and six further
on than 494, or number 500, was ' Blessed Assurance,
Jesus is mine.' "
One of the most popular and useful of the " Gos-
pel Hymns," this was sung by a large delegation of
JOHN R. SWENEY
Of the Gospel Hymns 1 39
Christian Endeavorers on the train to Minneapolis^
some years ago. And it was often sung at night as
the street-cars were crowded with passengers on their
way to the Convention Hall, greatly to the delight
of the people of that city.
Blest be the Tie that Binds
Words by the Rev. John Fawcett Music by H. G. Nageli
"Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love."
Dr. John Fawcett was the pastor of a small church
at Wainsgate, and was called from there to a larger
church in London in 1772. He accepted the call and
preached his farewell sermon. The wagons were
loaded with his books and furniture, and all was ready
for the departure, when his parishioners gathered
around him, and with tears in their eyes begged of him
to stay. His wife said, " Oh, John, John, I cannot
bear this." " Neither can I," exclaimed the good par-
son, '' and we will not go. Unload the wagons and put
everything as it was before." His decision was hailed
with great joy by his people, and he wrote the words
of this hymn in commemoration of the event. This
song, and " God be with you till we meet again," are
the most useful farewell hymns in the world.
Mr. Moody used to tell of a Sunday-school
teacher, to whom he had given a class of girls, who
one day came to Mr. Moody's store much disheartened.
140 Sankey's Story
He had suffered from hemorrhage of the lungs, and
his doctor had ordered him to leave Chicago. He was
sad because he felt that he had not made a true effort
to save his class. At Mr. Moody's proposal that they
go to visit each of the class members, they took a
carriage and at once began the work, the young man
in his feebleness saying what he could to each. At a
farewell meeting where they were all gathered, they
endeavored to sing " Blest be the tie that binds," but
their hearts were full and their voices failed. Every
member of the class yielded her heart to God.
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"This loving Saviour stands patiently;
Tho' oft rejected, calls again for thee."
A song somewhat similar to this I remember sing-
ing as a solo in Mr. Moody's Tabernacle in Chicago
at the close of an evangelistic meeting in 1872. Mr.
Bliss came in late and stood just inside the door, listen-
ing. At the close of the meeting he came up to the
platform and spoke enthusiastically about the piece,
and remarked that he also would try to write a hymn
on "The Prodigal." Not long afterward I heard him
sing this beautiful hymn, which he himself entitled
" Calling Now." It has been especially useful in
inquiry-meetings and at the close of evangelistic ad-
dresses. I have often heard it sung with great effect —
very softly by a choir, while the workers were speaking
to the anxious ones — and its soft, sweet, pleading tones
were always blessed to the hearers.
Of the Gospel Hymns 141
Words by Mrs. James G. Johnson Music by James McGranahan
" O word of words the sweetest,
O word, in which there lie — "
As these words were sung at one of our meetings
in Baltimore, a man arose and left the building, declar-
ing that he had never heard such twaddle in all his life.
When he reached home he tore the hymn out of his
hymn-book and threw it into the fire ; but he said after-
Vv^ard that the words still rang in his heart and that he
could not get rid of them. At last he came to Mr.
Moody and said : " I am a vile sinner, and I want you
to tell me how I can come to Jesus and be saved."
IMoody was enabled to lead him into the light, and the
man afterward declared that this was the sweetest
hymn in all the book.
Words by D. W. Whittle (" El. Nathan ") Music by James McGranahan
" Once again the Gospel message
From the Saviour you have heard."
A lawyer from the West sank so low as to become
a tramp in the streets of New York. He was fifty-
four years old and a homeless, penniless wretch. As
he stumbled by the Florence Mission one night the
windows were open and he stopped a moment to listen
to the singing. They sang:
"Once again the Gospel message
From the Saviour you have heard;
Will you heed the invitation?
Will you turn and seek the Lord?"
142 Sankeys Story
It came like the voice of God to him. His early
training had been Christian, and he thought he would
go in. He did so, and as he took his seat they were
singing the second verse :
"Many summers you have wasted,
Ripened harvests you have seen;
Winter snows by spring have melted,
Yet you linger in your sin."
He realized that this was a truthful picture of his*
own life, and listened to the third verse, ending:
" While the Spirit now is striving,
Yield, and seek the Saviour's side."
Deeply convicted, he jumped to his feet and said, " I
will yield, I will seek the Saviour's side." He was
converted, and attended the meetings regularly. He
secured good employment, wrote to his family, and
becoming reconciled to his wife and children, he re-
turned West to the old home, where he lived as an
Come, Great Deliverer, Come
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"O hear my cry, be gracious now to me,
Come, Great Deliverer, come."
'* A short time ago, about twelve o'clock one frosty
Saturday night, when the keen winter wind was driving
all indoors who had a home, a poor woman, in utter
misery and despair, was pacing up and down along the
Thames," writes a friend in England. '' She had wan-
dered into a mission hall during the evening and had
Of the Gospel Hymns I43
restlessly come out, carrying no remembrance of any-
thing that had been said ; but these lines from a hymn
still sounded in her ears :
'I've wandered far away o'er mountains cold
I've wandered far away from home;
O take me now, and bring me to Thy fold,
Come, Great Deliv'rer, come."
" She cried aloud : ' But there is no deliverer for
me/ Very soon she was met by some Christian work-
ers, who were spending the night in seeking to gather
in such outcasts as she. They took her to a home. The
human tenderness revealed to her the divine love. If
strangers had thus received her and cared for her,
would not her Heavenly Father, whose love she had
heard of, take her? Thus she was led to the feet of
Jesus, and to find that her sins were many and all for-
given. She said : ' Things since then have been up
and down with me, but I have never lost the peace I
found that morning.' "
Come, Sinner, Come
Words by the Rev. W. E. Witter Music by H. R. Palmer
"While Jesus whispers to you,
Come, sinner, come."
Mr. Witter has said regarding this hymn : "I may
say that the origin of ' While Jesus whispers to you ' is
forever linked with some of the most sacred experi-
ences of my life. I see the old farmhouse in New York
State, overlooking the beautiful Wyoming Valley, and
those Western hills, which to my childhood eyes were
the rim of the world. It was in the summer of 1877
and I was home from college to nurse my sainted
144 Sankey's Story
mother through her last illness, and at the same time
I was teaching a term in school. The biography of
P. P. Bliss was in our home, and his sweet songs were
running through my mind from morn till evening. I
prayed that even I might be inspired to write such
hymns as would touch hard hearts and lead them to
Christ. One Saturday afternoon, while bunching the
hay which had been mown along the roadside, the
words of this little hymn seemed to sing themselves
into my soul, and with music almost identical with that
to which they were later set by the sweet singer,
Palmer. I hastened to the house and, running upstairs,
knelt beside the bed of a brother, for whose salvation
my mother was in constant prayer. There, upon my
knees, I transcribed the words to paper, with a strange
consciousness that they were God-given and that God
would use them."
And God has used them, for this hymn has been
found very helpful as an invitation at revival meetings.
Come, Thou Fount
Words by the Rev. R. Robinson Music by John Wyeth
"Come thou Fount of ev'ry blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace."
The author of this hymn, born in 1735, was of
lowly parentage. At the age of fourteen his widowed
mother sent him to London to learn the trade of barber
and hair-dresser. His master found him more given
to reading than to his profession. While in London
he attended meetings held by the great evangelist,
George Whitefield, became converted, and began to
study for the ministry. In the latter part of his life
Of the Gospel Hymns 145
Mr. Robinson often indulged in frivolous habits. But
on one occasion, while traveling in a stage-coach, he
encountered a lady who soon compelled him to admit
his acquaintance with religion. She had just been
reading this hymn, and she asked his opinion of it, after
having told him of the blessings it had brought to her
heart. He avoided the subject and turned her atten-
tion to some other topic; but the lady, who did not
know to whom she was talking, soon returned to the
hymn, expressing her strong admiration for its senti-
ments. Agitated beyond the power of controlling his
emotion, Robinson broke out :
" Madam, I am the poor, unhappy man who com-
posed that hymn many years ago, and I would give a
thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I
Come to the Saviour
Words by George F. Root Music by George F. Root
"Come to the Saviour, make no delay;
Here in His word He's shown us the way."
" In 1879 I was assisting in revival meetings in
Danville, California," writes the pastor of a Presby-
terian Church at Oakland. *' The meetings were weU
attended and good interest was exhibited, but for a
long time there were no conversions. In the neighbor-
hood there was a man who, with his wife and children,
attended the church regularly, and he was one of its
liberal supporters. They were most excellent people, but
could not be induced to profess Christ, and did not call
themselves Christians. One day, Vv'hile the men were
holding services in the church t^^— w^omen were having
146 Sankeys Story
a prayer-meeting in the manse near by. In the course
of the meeting they sang, ' Come to the Saviour, make
no delay.' The singing over, they were about to en-
gage in prayer, when the lady above referred to asked
them to sing the last verse of this hymn. They sang :
'Think once again, He's with us to-day; *
Heed now His blest commands, and obey;
Hear now His accents tenderly say.
Will you, my children, come?'
** The lady was greatly affected and when the
singing ceased she said with deep emotion : * Yes, I
will come; I have been very stubborn, but I will not
stay away any longer.' The women were all deeply
moved, and prayed and praised God with warm hearts.
When the word reached the men they were greatly
encouraged at the good news. A revival followed,
and at the close of a touching service a few days later,
when a call was made for persons who desired to unite
with the church, this lady and her husband were the
first to respond. They were followed by some of their
own children and many other persons — in all twenty-
one. This hymn seemed to have been the means of
reaching the wife'^s heart, and of opening the way for
the blessing which followed."
Come Unto Me
Words by Nathaniel Norton Music by George C. Stebbins
" 'Come unto Me!' it is the Saviour's voice —
The Lord of life, who bids thy heart rejoice."
A man of culture and of extensive reading had
given a good deal of thought to the subject of Chris-
tianity, but had never acknowledged himself a Chris-
Of the Gospel Hymns I47
tian until one evening at the close of an after-meeting
in services conducted by Dr. George F. Pentecost in his
own church in Brooklyn. Then he arose and made a
public confession of Christ as his Saviour. That
night, on his return home, he sat down and wrote the
words of this hymn. The next day they were handed
to Mr. Stebbins, who was then assisting Dr. Pentecost.
Very soon afterward the hymn was sung in the meet-
ings that were still in progress. It at once met with
general favor, and for many years was used as a special
song of invitation in our meetings, as well as by other
evangelists in theirs.
Come Unto Me, and Rest
Words by D. W. Whittle (" El. Nathan ") Music by James McGranaham
"Brother, art thou worn and weary,
Tempted, tried, and sore oppress'd?"
**0n a cold night in the fall of 1885, a scantily clad
man wandered into Bleecker Street," writes a New
York evangelist, under whose personal observation the
incident came. "He was foot-sore and weary with
much wandering, worn out for want of sleep, and faint
from lack of food. The long, cold night was before
him, and he knew he must walk the street till morning.
He stepped into a doorway for a little rest. As he
sat there he fell to pondering. He was solitary and
sad-hearted. Drink had wrought fearful havoc with
him, and had left him a homeless, friendless man.
Home and loved ones, friends, money and position had
all been sacrificed to this appetite. He felt that he
was lost, and that no effort could save him. As he
148 Sankey s Story
thus mused his reverie was broken by the sound of
song. Surprised, he looked up in the direction from
which the sound came, and saw across the way an illu-
minated sign on which were the words, * Florence Mis-
sion.' Glad to get away from the chill and gloom of
the street, he went into the mission. As he entered a
lady was singing :
'Brother, art thou worn and weary,
Tempted, tried, and sore oppress'd?
Listen to the word of Jesus,
Come unto me, and rest!'
*'If there was one thing on earth that the man
needed it was rest. Rest for the tired, famished body ;
rest for the tortured heart. ' These things are not for
me,' he thought ; ' I am too far gone.' He wandered
the cold streets till morning, but never once did the
words of this hymn leave him. The refrain constantly
rang in his ears, ' Come unto me and rest.' He visited
the mission many nights, and finally gave his heart to
The evangelist adds that this man has been his
assistant for many years, and has won hundreds to
Words by Frances R. Havergal Music by W. A. Mozart. Arr. by H. P. Main
" Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee."
One of the finest consecration hymns in the
world, this is a great favorite of the Christian Endeavor
Society. Miss Havergal told me of its origin, while
Of the Gospel Hymns 149
we were seated in her home in South Wales. She
had gone to London for a visit of five days. There
were ten persons in the family she visited, most of
them unconverted. She prayed to God to give her all
in the house, and before leaving everyone had received
a blessing. The last night of her visit, after she had
retired, the governess told her that the two daughters
wished to see her. They were much troubled over
their spiritual condition and were weeping, but Miss
Havergal was able to show them the way of life, and
they were both joyfully converted that night. She was
too happy to sleep, she said, but spent most of the night
in praise and renewal of her own consecration; and
that night the words of this hymn formed themselves
in her mind. In 1879, shortly before her death, I gave
a number of Bible-readings in Miss Havergal's home,
when she told me the very interesting story of her Hfe.
A few years later I met Miss Havergal's sister
again under somewhat amusing conditions. I was
traveling in Switzerland. While looking through a
large music establishment I found quite a number of
music boxes, which played several of the "Moody and
Sankey " hymns. I asked the proprietor if these boxes
had much of a sale. He said they had, though he did
not think much of the tunes they played. Beside me
was standing a lady, also looking at the music boxes.
She proved to be Miss Havergal's sister. As she
turned around and saw me, she threw up her hands and
said in a clear voice, *' Oh, Mr. Sankey, is that you ? "
The proprietor proceeded to make profound apologies
and, selecting one of his best boxes, he presented it
150 Sankey's Story
Dare to be a Daniel
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God's command."
Mr. Blis? wrote this song especially for his
Sunday-school class in the First Congregational
Church of Chicago. It has been much admired and
was often used by me in connection with Mr. Moody's
lecture on Daniel. This hymn and " Hold the Fort "
were prohibited by the Sultan from use in Turkey.
Dark is the Night
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by T. E. Perkins
" Dark is the night, and cold the wind is blowing,
Nearer and nearer comes the breakers' roar;"
When I was chorister in Mr. Moody's Sunday-
school, on the north side of Chicago, we frequently
used this hymn. On the memorable Sunday night
when the city was destroyed by fire, and I had made
my escape in a small boat out into Lake Michigan, this
song came to my mind, and as I sat there watching
the city burn I sang :
"Dark is the night, and cold the wind is blowing,
Nearer and nearer comes the breakers' roar;
Where shall I go, or whither fly for refuge?
Hide me, my Father, till the storm is o'er."
Depth of Mercy
Words by Charles Wesley Music arr. from J. Stevenson
"Depth of mercy! can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?"
An actress in a town in England, while passing
along the street, heard singing in a house. Out of
curiosity she looked in through the open door and saw
Of the Gospel Hymns 151
a number of people sitting together singing this hymn.
She Hstened to the song, and afterwards to a simple
but earnest prayer. When she went away the hymn
had so impressed her that she procured a copy of a
book containing it. Reading and re-reading the hymn
led her to give her heart to God and to resolve to leave
the stage. The manager of the theater pleaded with
her to continue to take the leading part in a play which
she had made famous in other cities, and finally he per-
suaded her to appear at the theater. As the curtain
rose the orchestra began to play the accompaniment
to the song which she was expected to sing. She
stood like one lost in thought, and the band, supposing
her embarrassed, played the prelude over a second
and a third time. Then with clasped hands she step-
ped forward and sang with deep emotion :
"Depth of mercy, can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?"
This put a sudden stop to the performance; not
a few were impressed, though many scoffed. The
change in her life was as permanent as it was singular.
Soon after she became the wife of a minister of the
First published in " Hymns and Sacred Poems "
in 1740, this hymn has been set to a number of tunes.
But the most popular one in America is the melody
arranged from Stevenson, with the chorus, "God is
love ! I know, I feel ; Jesus lives and loves me still."
152 Sankeys Story
Words by Thomas Ken, 1695 Music by Wilhelm Frank
"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."
Praise Him, all creatures here below."
On the night of October 15, 1884, a great crowd
was gathered on the street outside a Republican head-
quarters in New York City, awaiting the returns of an
important election. It was two o'clock in the morn-
ing before the last bulletin was posted. Previous to
this announcement a thousand voices had been singing
uproariously, **We won't go home till morning;" but
the moment the message was displayed the stereopti-
con flashed out the Hne, " Praise God, from whom all
blessings flow. Good night." The Tribune, in re-
porting the incident, said : "A deep-voiced man in the
throng pitched the doxology, and a mighty volume
of song swelled upward. Then the lights went out and
the happy watchers departed to their homes."
A child on the top of Mount Washington was with
her father above the clouds, while a thunder-storm
flashed and rumbled below. Where they stood all was
perfect calm and sunshine, though the eye found noth-
ing but the blue of heaven and a few rocks to rest on.
** Well, Lucy," said her father, " there is nothing to be
seen here, is there ?" But the child exclaimed : " Oh,
papa, I see the doxology ! All around seems to say,
'Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.'"
Of the Gospel Hymns 153
The doxology was a great solace to the starving
" boys in blue " in Libby prison. Day after day they
saw some of their comrades passing away, while fresh,
living recruits for the grave arrived. Late one night
they heard through the stillness and the darkness the
tramp of new arrivals, who were stopped outside the
prison door until arrangement could be made for them
within. In the company was a young Baptist minister,
whose heart almost fainted as he looked on those cold
walls and thought of the suffering inside. Tired and
weary, he sat down, put his face in his hands and wept.
Just then a lone voice of deep, sweet pathos, sang from
an upper window :
" Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;"
a dozen more voices joined in the second Hne; and so
on till the prison was all alive and seemed to quiver
with the sacred song. As the song died away in the
stillness of the night, the young man arose and said :
"Prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there."
This doxology has been almost universally
adopted as a praise hymn by all churches. Wilhelm
Frank, the composer of the tune, "Old Hundred," was
The first Moody and Sankey meeting held in the
Agricultural Hall, London, was opened by the singing
Df " Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."
154 Sankeys Story
'Vords by Ellen M. H. Gates Music by P. P. Bliss
"Oh, the clanging bells of Time!
Night and day they never cease."
Having carried in my pocket for several months
[the words of the hymn '"Eternity," which the author,
Ellen M. H. Gates, had sent me, I handed them, one
day in Chicago in 1876, to my friend P. P. Bliss, ask-
ing him to write music for them. Three days later he
had composed the tune.
The hymn was much used at our meetings both in
Great Britain and the United States. Before singing
it, I used to tell the story of Robert Annan, of Dundee,
Scotland. He was one of the worst men who ever
lived in that town, but after having been converted
became one of the most useful missionaries of the
place. On leaving his little cottage home one morning
to go to his mission work, he took a piece of chalk from
his pocket and wrote on the flagstone of the walk
which led to his house the single word " Eternity."
A few minutes later he saw a child fall from one of the
vessels in the harbor. Being a bold, strong swimmer,
he threw off his coat and shoes, and plunged into the
bay. He saved the child, but at the cost of his own
life. His body was carried home over the word
^'Eternity," which he had written a few hours before.
On my last visit to Scotland, about five years ago, I
went to see his widow, and found that the writing had
been cut in the stone by direction of the Honorable
James Gordon, the Earl of Aberdeen. Thousands go
to see it every year. Mr. Annan's minister took me
Of the Gospel Hymns 155
to the beautiful cemetery of the place, where a fine
monument, ten feet high, marks the last resting-place
of the hero.
A worker in the English Village Mission writes :
** I had been engaged during the previous week with
a lot of indifferent people in a midland village without
the smallest token of blessing, and on that memorable
Sunday night of the Tay Bridge disaster I went to the
service with a sad heart. The service was a solemn
one, and at the close we sang :
'Oh, the clanging bells of Time!
Night and day they never cease.'
"The song touched the hearts of the people. About
this time, as we afterwards learned, a number of con-
versions occurred, and a blessing has rested on that
place for many years. One of the converts has been
a very successful missionary in a large northern city.
I can scarcely remember any place where some one or
more of your songs and solos was not used of God in
blessing souls. In one church alone I received one
hundred and fifty into fellowship, and I think not less
than one-third of that number, when making applica-
tion for membership, mentioned some particular hymn
that had led them to decision."
Words by J. Edmeston Music by George C. Stebbins
"Saviour, breathe an evening blessing,
Ere repose our spirits seal."
It rarely falls to the lot of any hymn to be sung
under such trying circumstances as was this, during the
Boxer outbreak in China, by a company of beleaguered
156 Sankeys Story
missionaries who had gathered together one night in
great fear lest they should have to suffer the fate of so
many who were giving up their lives rather than deny
their Lord. The following account of the singing is
furnished by Miss Helen Knox Strain, one of the mis-
sionaries present that night.
" The Woman's Union Missionary Society has a
magnificent work just outside of the city of Shanghai.
No harm had come to us up to this time, but serious
threats and unpleasant rumors were rife ; we dared not
so much as put our heads out at night, though forty
little soldier-men played at keeping us safe. Our mis-
sionaries have two centers at that place, and they meet
often for prayer and consultation. At this particular
time the rumors were so frightful, and the threats to
burn our homes that very night so distressing, that we
had a memorable meeting. Separated from home and
friends, facing death in a far-off land, and full of ten-
derest feelings, we lifted our hearts in song.
" * Though destruction walk around us.
Though the arrows past us fly;
Angel guards from Thee surround us:
We are safe if Thou art nigh.'
" Out of the storm each soul, renewing its
strength, mounted up with wings as eagles and found
peace in the secret of His presence.
" Our Saviour breathed, in very deed, an * evening
blessing' upon us, the fragrance of which remains
even unto this day. The last verse of the hymn,
* Should swift death this night o'ertake us,' was omit-
ted. It seemed too probable that it might. We
GEORGE C. STEBBINS
Of the Gospel Hynms 159
wanted only to think of the safe-keeping, and such,
thank God, it proved to be."
Edmeston, a voluminous hymn-writer, was an
architect by profession, and a member of the Estab-
lished Church at Homerton, England, where he re-
sided. The theme of this hymn was suggested to
him by a sentence in a volume of Abyssinian travels —
" At night their short evening hymn, * Jesus Forgive
Us,' stole through the camp." Though first appear-
ing in the author's " Sacred Lyrics " in 1820, and to
be found in the older church hymnals, it had no spe-
cial prominence until ^Ir. Stebbins' setting became
known. Since then it has come into general use, and
has been adopted by many of the church hymnals.
The music was written in 1876, for the choir of Tre-
mont Temple, Boston, of which Mr. Stebbins was
then the director. Published two years later in '' Gos-
pel Hymns Number 3," it became a favorite at once
with the great choirs of our meetings and with other
evangelistic choirs, and has since then been used
wherever the *' Gospel Hymns " are sung, even in the
remote places of the earth.
Words by Mrs. Elizabeth Codner Music by William B. Bradbury
"Lord, I hear of showers of blessing
Thou art scattering full and free,"
A gentleman in England sends this incident : " A
poor woman, in a dark village, attended a High Church
mission, w^here the good Gospel hymn, ' Even Ale '
was sung from a printed leaflet. A few days after-
i6o Sankey s Story
ward the old woman became seriously ill, and soon she
died. But she seemed to have taken in all the Gospel
through this hymn, and to the last repeated with rever-
ence and joy ' Even me, even me,' not remembering
one word of the sermon that she heard at the mission.
This was in 1877. Soon after we had an evangelistic
meeting in the same village, in a barn three hundred
years old, where this hymn was sung with great effect."
Words by W. O. Gushing Music by Robert Lowry
"Down in the valley with my Saviour I would go
Where the flowers are blooming and the sweet waters flow."
" I wrote this hymn in 1878," the Rev. W. O.
Gushing tells me. " Longing to give up all for Christ
who had given his life for me, I wanted to be willing
to lay everything at his feet, with no wish but to do his
will, to live henceforth only for his glory. Out of this
feeHng came the hymn, ' Follow On.' It was written
with the prayer and the hope that some heart might
by it be led to give up all for Christ. Much of the
power and usefulness of the hymn, however, are due
to Mr. Lowry, who put it into song."
Go Bury Thy Sorrow-
Words by Mary A. Bachelor Music by P. P. Bliss
"Go bury thy sorrow.
The world hath its share."
For many years this hymn was one of my favorite
solos. In its original form it read, " Bury thy sorrow,
hide it with care;" but when Mr. Bliss found it in a
Of the Gospel Hyjnns 1 6 1
newspaper he arranged it to read, ''Go bury thy sor-
row, the world hath its share," and set it to music. It
has been blessed to thousands of people, and will remain
as one of his best productions when many of his other
songs are forgotten.
The author of the hymn was the daughter of a
minister. When she wrote these lines she was living
with her brother, whom she greatly loved. He also
was a minister, and had the usual cares and burdens to
carry that are incident to a pastor's life. To him she
confided all her joys and sorrows. One day, after hav-
ing disclosed to him some peculiar trial which she was
enduring, she was reproached by her conscience for
having needlessly added to his already numerous cares.
She stood by the open window, and saw the long, heavy
shadows cast by the tall poplar trees across the lawn,
and the thought came to her :
"That is just what I have done to my brother!
Why did I do it ? Why did I not rather bury my own
sorrow, and allow only words of cheer and brightness
to reach his ears ? "
With such thoughts in her mind, and with tears of
regret filling her eyes, she retired to her little attic
bedroom, and there wrote the hymn that has been so
A lady who had suffered much, and had passed
through many great trials, set much store by this hymn.
One day as she sang it her little daughter, who was
playing in the room, looked up into her mother's face
1 62 Sankey's Story
and saw tears rolling down her cheeks. The child
called out :
" Mamma, are you digging the sorrows all up
again ? "
God Be With You
Words by J. E. Rankin, D.D. Music by W. G. Tomer
"God be with you till we meet again;
By His counsels guide, uphold you."
The late Dr. Rankin, president of Howard Uni-
versity, Washington, D. C, said regarding this oft-
used parting hymn : " Written in 1882 as a Christian
good-bye, it was called forth by no person or occasion,
but was deliberately composed as a Christian hymn
on the basis of the etymology of ' good-bye,' which is
* God be with you.' The first stanza was written and
sent to two composers — one of unusual note, the other
wholly unknown and not thoroughly educated in
music. I selected the composition of the latter, sub-
mitted it to J. W. Bischoff — the musical director of a
little book we were preparing — who approved of it,
but made some criticisms, which were adopted. It
was sung for the first time one evening in the First
Congregational Church in Washington, of which I was
then the pastor and Mr. Bischoff the organist. I at-
tributed its popularity in no little oart to the music
to which it was set. It was a wedding of words and
music, at which it was my function to preside ; but Mr.
Tomer should have his full share of the family honor."
William Gould Tomer, the author of the music,
is of German ancestry. He has been a school teacher,
Of the Gospel Hymns 163
a soldier in the civil war, and a clerk in the Treasury-
department. He was teaching school in 1882 when
he wrote the music of " God be with you."
Hallelujah, 'tis Done !
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"'Tis the promise of God full salvation to give,
Unto him who on Jesus, his Son, will believe."
A minister from England, in telling of a certain
meeting, says : " Among the converts was a man some-
what advanced in years, who was very anxious about
the salvation of his wife, and expressed a wish that I
should visit her. I did so repeatedly, and explained
to her in very simple words the plan of salvation, but
she could not comprehend the meaning of my message.
Every time I left, however, she would express a strong
desire that I return. One day I went in just before
dinner, and talked to her about Jesus, but no light
seemed to dawn upon her mind. Then the thought
struck me to sing something to her, and so I com-
menced, ' 'Tis the promise of God, full salvation to
give.' When I was through the chorus, she exclaimed,
* Sing it over again.' I did so, time after time, and
when I asked her to assist me, she joined in very
heartily. The light dawned on her dark mind while
we were singing, the big burden of sin was removed
from her heart, and her face was lighted up with holy
joy as she exclaimed, 'Hallelujah, 'tis done! I do
believe in the Son; I am saved.' Just then her hus-
band walked in for his dinner, and she shouted out to
him, * Ah, lad ! I've got it ! Hallelujah ! 'tis done ! *
1 64 Sankeys Story
Their hearts were full of joy over the wonderful dis-
covery she had made, and I was grateful to God for a
sinner brought to Christ by the ministry of holy song."
In compiling his book, " Gospel Songs," in 1874,
Mr. Bliss desired to publish in it the well-known hymn,
" Hallelujah ! Thine the Glory," then much used in
religious services. The owners of the copyright re-
fused, and he wrote " Hallelujah, 'tis done," both
words and music, to supply the want. Hundreds of
souls have been led to decide for Christ by this hymn,
and the church has reason to rejoice at that refusal.
Hallelujah, what a Saviour
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
" * Man of Sorrows,' what a name
For the Son of God, who came."
Written in 1876, shortly before his death, this was
the last hymn I heard Mr. Bliss sing. It was at a
meeting in Farwell Hall in Chicago, conducted by
Henry Moorehouse. A few weeks before his death
Mr. Bliss visited the State prison at Jackson, Michigan,
where, after a very touching address on " The Man
of Sorrows," he sang this hymn with great effect.
Many of the prisoners dated their conversion from
When Mr. Moody and I were in Paris, holding
meetings in the old church which Napoleon had
granted to the Evangelicals, I frequently sang this
hymn as a solo, asking the congregation to join in the
Of the Gospel Hymns \ 65
single phrase, " Hallelujah, what a Saviour," which
they did with splendid effect. It is said that the word
*' Hallelujah " is the same in all languages. It seems
as though God had prepared it for the great jubilee of
heaven, when all his children shall have been gathered
home to sing " Hallelujah to the Lamb ! "
Words by Maiy G. Brainard Music by P. P. Bliss
" I know not what awaits me,
God kindly veils mine eyes."
Mr. Bliss lost his life in the terrible railroad wreck
at Ashtabula, Ohio. His trunk, however, reached Chi-
cago safely, as it had gone before by another train.
In his trunk was discovered this hymn. Mr. Bliss had
rearranged the words of the poem to some extent, and
had composed the tune. Sentence by sentence, the
words are full of pathetic interest in connection with
the author's sudden death so soon afterward.
He Leadeth Me
Words by Joseph H. Gilmcre Music by William B. Bradbury
" He leadeth me! O, blessed thought!
O, words with heavenly comfort fraught."
" I had been talking," said Mr. Gilmore, " at the
Wednesday evening lecture of the First Baptist Church
of Philadelphia, in 1862. The Twenty-third Psalm was.
my theme, and I had been especially impressed with the
blessedness of being led by God — of the mere fact of his
leadership, altogether apart from the way in which he
1 66 Smikey s Story
leads us and what he is leading us to. At the close of
the service we adjourned to Deacon Watson's home,
at which I was stopping. We still held before our
minds and hearts the thought which I had just empha-
sized. During the conversation, in which several par-
ticipated, the blessedness of God's leadership so grew
upon me that I took out my pencil, wrote the hymn just
as it stands to-day, handed it to my wife — and thought
no more about it. She sent it without my knowledge
to ^ The Watchman and Reflector,' and there it first
appeared in print. Three years later I went to Roches-
ter to preach for the Second Baptist Church. On enter-
ing the chapel I took up a hymn-book, thinking, ' I
wonder what they sing.' The book opened at ' He
leadeth me,' and that was the first time I knew my
hymn had found a place among the songs of the
church. I shall never forget the impression made upon
me by coming then and there in contact with my own
assertion of God's leadership."
Mr. Bradbury, finding the hymn in a Christian
periodical, composed for it the very appropriate tune
with which it has ever since been associated.
Here am I, Send Me
Words by Daniel March Music by S. M. Grannis
" Hark! the voice of Jesus crying, —
' Who will go and work to-day? ' "
I found this poem in a newspaper and set the
words to a tune by S. M. Grannis entitled " Your Mis-
sion " — a hymn which was sung in the Senate Cham-
ber in Washington by Philip Phillips on one occasion
Of the Gospel Hymns 167
when Abraham Lincoln was present. The President
was so charmed with the song that he requested that
it be repeated.
Hiding in Thee
Words by William O. Gushing Music by Ira D. Sankey
"O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly."
" ' Hiding in Thee ' was written in Moravia, New
York, in 1876," writes Mr. Gushing. *' It must be said
of this hymn that it was the outgrowth of many tears,
many heart-conflicts and soul-yearnings, of which the
world can know nothing. The history of many battles
is behind it. But the occasion which gave it being
was the call of Mr. Sankey. He said : ' Send me some-
thing new to help me in my Gospel work.' A call from
such a source, and for such a purpose, seemed a call
from God. I so regarded it, and prayed : ' Lord, give
me something that may glorify Thee.' It was while
thus waiting that ' Hiding in Thee ' pressed to make
itself known. Mr. Sankey called forth the tune, and
by his genius gave the hymn wings, making it useful
in the Master's work."
Ho ! Reapers of Life's Harvest
Words by I. B. Woodbury Music by I. B. Woodbury
"Ho! reapers of life's harvest,
Why stand with rusted blade?"
President Garfield was fond of this hymn, and it
was sung at his funeral. In addressing an audience of
1 68 Sankeys Story
young people on one occasion, Garfield said, in sub-
stance, regarding his own conversion :
*' Make the most of the present moment. No
occasion is unworthy of our best efforts. God often
uses humble occasions and little things to shape the
course of a man's life. I might say that the wearing
of a certain pair of stockings led to a complete change
in my life. I had made a trip as a boy on a canal boat
and was expecting to leave home for another trip ; but
I accidentally injured my foot in chopping wood. The
blue dye in my home-made socks poisoned the wound
and I was kept at home. A revival broke out mean-
while in the neighborhood, and I was thus kept within
its influence and was converted. New desires and new
purposes then took possession of me, and I was de-
termined to seek an education in order that I might
live more usefully for Christ."
It is said that this hymn has been the means of
the conversion of thousands of souls in Australia and
Hold the Fort
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"Ho! my comrades, see the signal
Waving in the sky!"
Just before Sherman began his famous march to
the sea in 1864, and while his army lay camped in the
neighborhood of Atlanta on the 5th of October, the
army of Hood, in a carefully prepared movement,
passed the right flank of Sherman's army, gained his
rear, and commenced the destruction of the railroad
Of the Gospel Hymns 1 69
leading north, burning blockhouses and capturing the
small garrisons along the line. Sherman's army was
put in rapid motion pursuing Hood, to save the sup-
plies and larger posts, the principal one of which was
located at Altoona Pass. General Corse, of Illinois,
was stationed here with about fifteen hundred men,
Colonel Tourtelotte being second in command. A
million and a half of rations were stored here and it
was highly important that the earthworks commanding
the pass and protecting the supplies should be held.
Six thousand men under command of General French
were detailed by Hood to take the position. The
works were completely surrounded and summoned to
surrender. Corse refused and a sharp fight com-
menced. The defenders were slowly driven into a small
fort on the crest of the hill. Many had fallen, and the
result seemed to render a prolongation of the fight
hopeless. At this moment an officer caught sight of
a white signal flag far away across the valley, twenty
miles distant, upon the top of Kenesaw Mountain. The
signal was answered, and soon the message was waved
across from mountain to mountain :
" Hold the fort ; I am coming. W. T. Sherman."
Cheers went up ; every man was nerved to a full
appreciation of the position ; and under a murderous
fire, which killed or wounded more than half the men
in the fort — Corse himself being shot three times
through the head, and Tourtelotte taking command,
though himself badly wounded — they held the fort for
three hours until the advance guard of Sherman's army
came up. French was obliged to retreat.
This historical incident was related by Major
170 Sankey's Story
Whittle at a Sunday-school meeting in Rockford, Illi-
nois, in May, 1870. Mr. Bliss was present, and the
song " Hold the Fort " was at once bom in his mind.
The next day Whittle and Bliss held a meeting in the
Young Men's Christian Association rooms in Chicago.
Bliss went on the platform and wrote the chorus of
this hymn on the blackboard. He there sang the verses
for the first time in public, and the audience joined in
the chorus. Soon after he had it published in sheet
Mr. Bliss said to me once, not long before his
death, that he hoped that he would not be known to
posterity only as the author of " Hold the Fort," for he
believed that he had written many better songs. How-
ever, when I attended the dedication of the Bliss monu-
ment, at Rome, Pennsylvania, I found these words
P. P. Bliss,
Author of "Hold the Fort."
The pine tree from which Sherman's signal was
flown was cut down a few years after the war, and
was made into souvenirs, I receiving a baton with
which to lead my choirs.
*' Hold the Fort " was used frequently in our
meetings in Great Britain during 1873-4. Lord
Shaftesbury said at our farewell meeting in London :
'' If Mr. Sankey has done no more than teach the peo-
ple to sing ' Hold the Fort,' he has conferred an inesti-
mable blessing on the British empire."
On a trip to Switzerland, in 1879, I stopped over
p. p. BLISS
Of the Gospel Hymns 173
Sunday in London with the family of William Higgs,
and attended morning services at the Metropolitan
Tabernacle. While seated in a pew with Mrs. Higgs
and three of her daughters, I was discovered by Mr.
Spurgeon. At the conclusion of his address he sent
one of his deacons down to the pew, inviting me to his
private room at the rear of the pulpit. There I was
warmly greeted by the great preacher. In the course
of our conversation he said : ** A few days ago I re-
ceived a copy of a bill pending in Parliament in relation
to the army, with a letter from a Christian gentleman,
a member of the parliament, asking if I couldn't preach
a sermon on this bill. I have decided to preach that
sermon to-night, and I want you to come and sing,
* Hold the Fort.' I replied that he was not a man to
be denied ; and although I had not expected to sing in
public in London on this trip, I would gladly comply
with his wish if I could have a small organ to accom-
pany myself upon. This I supposed that he would not
have, as he did not approve of organs at public worship
and never used one in his church ; but he replied that
when I arrived at the meeting there would be an instru-
ment on the platform for me. In the evening, at the
close of his address he announced that I was present
and would sing " Hold the Fort ;" and he asked them
all to join heartily in the chorus. An organ had been
secured from the Students' College. When the chorus
was sung it was heard blocks away. At the conclusion
of the service Mr. Spurgeon exclaimed : '' There now,
I think our roof will stay on after that ! "
On reaching Switzerland I sang in many cities.
SaiHng across Lake Lucerne, and ascending the Rigi,
174- Sankey's Story
there I again sang " Hold the Fort," much to the in-
terest of the Swiss peasants.
An indication of the impression this and other
American songs made upon the people may be seen in
the case of the two actors who came on the stage in
one of the largest theaters in England and attempted
to caricature Mr. Moody and m^yself. The galleries
struck up " Hold the Fort," and kept on singing the
piece until the actors had to withdraw from the stage.
On their reappearing, with the purpose of continuing
the performance, the song was again started, and con-
tinued until that part of the entertainment was given
up. I have been informed that the cabling of this inci-
dent to this country at the time it took place turned
the attention of our countrymen more thoroughly to
our work across the sea than all the reports previously
sent in relation to the movement over there.
Shortly after the evangelistic work of Henry Var-
ley in Yorkville and Toronto, about 1875, when the
songs in the first edition of " Gospel Hymns " were
heard all over the land, a carpenter and his apprentice
were working on a building in Yorkville. The man
was a Christian and had consecrated his fine tenor voice
to the Master's use. The boy had just given himself
to Jesus and was also a singer for the Lord. One
morning, as they met at the usual hour for work, the
following dialogue took place between them:
" Do you know who is coming here to work to-
'' No, I did not hear of anybody coming here."
Of the Gospel Hymns 175
" Well, there is ; and it is Tommy Dodd."
" And who might Tommy Dodd be ? "
" He is a painter, and the greatest drunkard and
wife-beater in Yorkville."
" Well, Joe, we must give him a warm reception."
" Yes, we will sing like everything, so that he
can't get a bad word in."
So, when Tommy Dodd came, they struck up
" Hold the Fort." And they kept on singing till he left
his work and came closer to listen. He asked them
to sing it over and over again, joining heartily in it
himself, for Tommy was very fond of singing. This
was followed by an invitation to the young men's
prayer-meeting, where the Spirit led him to surrender
to Christ. Afterward he was found at the church
instead of the saloon, singing the sweet songs of Zion.
Dr. R. A. Torrey, on his return from England
recently, called on me and told me that while he and
Mr. Alexander were holding meetings in Belfast,
one of the most enthusiastic helpers was a typical
Irishman, well-known as an active worker all over the
city. '* He was constantly bringing drunkards to the
front and dealing with them," said Dr. Torrey, " and
holding meetings in the open air all over the city. The
story of his conversion was exceedingly interesting.
At that time he was a prisoner in a cell in Belfast. The
window of his cell was open. Mr. Sankey v/as singing
' Hold the Fort ' in another building. The words
floated across through the open window into his cell
and went home to his heart. There in his cell he ac-
cepted Christ under the influence of this hymn. I
think he never saw Mr. Sankey in his life."
176 Sankey's Story
Home of the Soul
Words by Mrs. Ellen H. Gates Music by Philip Phillips
" I will sing you a song of that beautiful land,
The far away home of the soul."
" Now I saw in my dream that these two men
[Christian and Hopeful] went in at the gate; and lo,
as they entered, they were transfigured ; and they had
raiment put on them that shone like gold. There were
also those that met them with harps and crowns and
gave them to them ; the harps to praise withal, and
the crowns in token of honor. Then I heard in my
dream that all the bells in the city rang again for joy,
and that it was said unto them : ' Enter ye into the joy
of your Lord ! ' . . . Now, just as the gates were
opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and
behold, the city shone like the sun ; the streets also
were paved with gold ; and in them walked many men,
with crowns on their heads and palms in their hands,
and golden harps to sing praises withal. . . . After
that, they shut up the gates which, when I had seen, I
wished myself among them." — Bunyan's " Pilgrim's
"The above extract," wrote Philip Phillips, "I
sent to Mrs. Ellen H. Gates, asking her to write a
suitable hymn. When the verses were forwarded to
me, in 1865, I seated myself in my home with my little
boy on my knee, and with Bunyan's immortal dream-
book in my hand, and began to read the closing scenes
where Christian and Hopeful entered into the city, —
wondering at Bunyan's rare genius, and like the
dreamer of old wishing myself among them. At this
Of the Gospel Hymns 177
moment of inspiration I turned to my organ, with pencil
in hand, and wrote the tune. This hymn seems to
have had God's special blessing upon it from the very
beginning. One man writes me that he has led in the
singing of it at a hundred and twenty funerals. It
was sung at the funeral of my own dear boy, who had
sat on my knee when I wrote the tune."
And I sang this hymn over the remains of my
beloved friend, Philip Phillips, at Fredonia, New York.
How Firm a Foundation
Words by G. Keith Music by M. Portogallo
"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word,"
" Once at evening devotion in the old Oratory
of Princeton Seminary," Dr. C. S. Robinson relates,
" the elder Hodge, then venerable with years and piety,
paused as he read this hymn, preparatory to the sing-
ing. In the depth of his emotion he was obliged to
close his delivery of the final lines with a gesture of
pathetic and adoring wonder at the matchless grace
of God in Christ, and his hand silently beat time to the
rhythm instead : * I'll never, no, never, no, never for-
Giving an account of a visit to General Jackson
at the Hermitage, in 1843, the Rev. James Gallager
says in the '' Western Sketch Book :" '' The old hero
was then very frail and had the appearance of extreme
old age ; but he was reposing with calmness and confi-
dence on the promise and covenant of God. He had
178 Sankey's Story
now been a member of the church for several years."
During the conversation v^^hich took place, the General
turned to Mr. Gallager, and remarked :
*' There is a beautiful hymn on the subject of the
exceeding great and precious promise of God to His
people. It was the favorite hymn of my dear wife, till
the day of her death. It commences in this way : ' How
firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord.' I wish you
would sing it now."
So the little company sang the entire hymn.
I am Praying for You
Words by S. O'Maley Cluff Music by Ira D. Sankey
"I have, a Saviour, He's pleading in glory;
A dear, loving Saviour, tho' earth friends be few."
On our first visit to Ireland, in 1874, we came
across these words in a printed leaflet. It was the sec-
ond hymn to which I wrote music, and it was much
used in our meetings in London. It has long been a
favorite prayer-meeting hymn in many churches.
At the close of a gospel service in Evanston, Illi-
nois, the minister was requested to visit a man who
was not likely to live many days, and who was a spir-
itualist. Though pressed by other engagements, the
minister said, " I will take time." He called, but
thought it not best to introduce the subject of religion
because of the patient's known hostility to evangelical
views. Seeing a little organ in the room, the minister
asked if he might sing a song. Consent being given,
he sang " I have a Saviour, He's pleading in glory."
Of the Gospel Hymiis 179
The sick man seemed pleased, and asked the min-
ister to sing it again. This he did, and then gave other
songs. Thus he sang the truths which he had
not the courage to mention in conversation. The
songs evidently accomplished their work \ for when the
minister called again the sick man's heart had been
opened, and the truth had been savingly received
through their instrumentality.
A gospel worker of Hunter, New York, tells of
this experience in connection with the hymn : " While
1 was holding revival meetings at Hensonville, New
York, a man and his wife were converted through the
hymn ' I Am Praying for You.' The song went directly
to the heart of the wife. All the way to her home the
first Hne of the hymn, ' I have a Saviour, He's plead-
ing in glory,' kept ringing in her ears, and next morn-
ing as she awoke she heard my voice singing, * I have
a Saviour.' That night she came to Jesus. Her hus-
band followed immediately after her. They had sent
out invitations for a large dancing party at that time,
which no doubt would have injured the meetings very
much had it taken place ; but the dance was turned into
a prayer-meeting. I shall never forget the night she
stood up in a crowded church, and said, ' Oh, Brother
L , your singing '' I have a Saviour " brought us to
A young man who came from Sweden writes : " ' I
Am Praying for You * was the first Moody and Sankey
hymn I ever heard. It was on a cold winter night up
in the land of the midnight sun, more than a quarter
i8o Sankey' s Story
of a century ago. Two evangelists had come to the
neighborhood, but found it difficult to get a place in
which to hold their meetings. At last a poor woman
opened for them her log house, consisting of two
rooms. From house to house the meetings were an-
nounced. I was a small boy, and out of curiosity I
attended the first meeting. About twenty people were
present, seated on chairs borrowed from the neigh-
bors. At one end of the low, dark room the evangel-
ists were seated, by a small table on which two
home-made candles were burning. After one of the
evangelists had led in prayer, he said to the other,
* Sing one of Sankey's hymns.' Upon which he sang
this now well-known hymn, * I Am Praying for You,'
accompanying himself on a guitar. Since then I have
heard these sweet hymns sung in many European
countries, and in the small meeting-houses and primi-
tive homes of the settlers on the Western plains, as
well as by choirs of hundreds and congregations of
thousands in the larger cities of this broad land."
I Gave My Life for Thee
Words by Frances R. Havergal Music by P. P. Bliss
"I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed.'*
Fifteen years after this hymn was written Miss
Havergal said about it : " Yes, ' I gave My life for
thee,' is mine, and perhaps it will interest you to hear
how nearly it went into the fire instead of nearly all
over the world. It was, I think, the very first thing
1 wrote which could be called a hymn — written when
I was a young girl, in 1859. I did not half realize
Of the Gospel Hymns 1 8 1
what I was writing about. I was following very far
off, always doubting and fearing. I think I had come
to Jesus with a trembling faith, but it was a coming * in
the press ' and behind, never seeing his face or feeling
sure that he loved me. I scribbled these words in
a few minutes on the back of a circular, and then read
them over and thought, ' Well, this is not poetry, any-
how; I won't trouble to write this out.' I reached
out my hand to put it in the fire, when a sudden im-
pulse made me draw it back, and I put it, crumpled
and singed, in my pocket. Soon after I went to see
a dear old woman in the almshouse. She began talk-
ing to me, as she always did, about her dear Saviour,
and I thought I would see if she, a simple old woman,
would care for these verses, which I felt sure nobody
else would even care to read. I read them to her, and
she was so delighted with them that I copied them out
and kept them. And now the Master has sent them
out in all directions, and I have heard of their being a
real blessing to many."
Miss Havergal showed the hymn some time after-
ward to her father, and he wrote a melody especially
for it. But it is the tune which Mr. Bliss composed
for it that became popular in America.
I Hear Thy Welcome Voice
Words by Lewis Hartsough Music by Lewis Hartsough
"I hear Thy welcome voice
That calls me, Lord, to Thee."
The words and music of this beautiful hymn were
first published in a monthly entitled *' Guide to Holi-
ness," a copy of which was sent to me in England in
1 82 Sci7iJcey's Story
1873. I immediately adopted it and had it published
in *' Sacred Songs and Solos." It proved to be one
of the most helpful of the revival hymns, and was often
used as an invitation hymn in England and America.
Shortly after this hymn was written, while it was
being sung by a large congregation in Washington, a
passing merchant stopped to listen. It had been
twenty years since he had crossed the threshold of a
church. The congregation were on their feet and
sinners were passing to the altar for prayer. Stanza
after stanza of this hymn was sung, with increasing
interest. The Holy Spirit so pressed the Lord's claims
that the merchant yielded and joined the penitents.
He was converted and this hymn became his favorite.
He sang it in his home, on the street, and in his store.
It seemed a special inspiration to him. One morning,
about two weeks after his conversion, as he started
for his store, his wife, having accompanied him to the
door to say good-bye, heard him joyfully begin to
sing " I am coming. Lord, to Thee," as he reached the
street. She listened a little while, looking after him,
and then turned to her room. A few moments later
the door-bell rang. She answered it in person, only
to find that men were bearing home her husband's dead
body. He had slipped on the icy pavement and was
instantly killed. The memory of those last words of
song that fell upon her ears, as he triumphantly sang
*' I am coming, Lord, to Thee," was to her a lasting
" While holding meetings at Eastbourn," says an
English evangelist, '' a man by the name of David was
Of the Gospel Hymns i Z-^
converted. His very wicked work-mate, whose name
was Stephen, noticed the change in him the next day,
and asked David what had caused it. David boldly
confessed that he had found the Saviour at the Mis-
sion, and expressed a wish that Stephen would accom-
pany him there next Sunday — to which he finally
agreed. As we began the service on Sunday evening,
I gave out the hymn, ' I hear Thy welcome Voice.'
During the singing I noticed that the Spirit had
touched a man who was sitting on the first form under
the platform. After a short comment on the verses, I
said : ' We will have the prayer-meeting at once,' and
in another minute I was down by the side of Stephen —
for it was he — and with my arm around his neck I
said to him : ' The Lord is speaking to you, is he not ? '
" After the meeting Stephen testified that he had
been able to knock down two men in a fight, but that
he never was so knocked down in all his life as when
he felt my arm around his neck. Stephen became a
brave and true follower of Christ. He brought his
wife to church, and though at first she had ridiculed
her husband, she, too, soon gave heed to the * welcome
I'll Go Where Thou Would'st I Should Go
Words by Mary Brown Music by Carrie E. Rounsefell
" It may not be on the mountain's height.
Or over the stormy sea."
This well-known missionary and consecration
hymn was adopted by a class of over a hundred mis-
sionary nurses at the Battle Creek (Michigan) Sani-
tarium as their class hymn. Every Sunday afternoon
184 Sankeys Story
they would gather for a social meeting and always
sing, " ril go where Thou would'st I should go, dear
Lord," which they called " their hymn." In this class
were students from nearly every State of the Union,
from Australia, South Africa, South America, Bul-
garia, Armenia, and nearly all the European countries.
At the close of the course they agreed that after they
had parted and gone to their different fields, they
would sing this hymn every Sunday afternoon as they
had done during their happy class-days.
I Love to Tell the Story
Words by Miss Kate Hankey Music by W. G. Fischer
"I love to tell the story
Of unseen things above."
" Last winter a young man appeared here from
British Columbia," says a letter from Surrey, England.
** He was in the Royal Marines. He was a total ab-
stainer and was doing all he could to promote temper-
ance among his comrades. While here he went to
church, and the curate, who had a conversation with
him, was much pleased with his manly behavior and
resolute desire to do right. He wore a medal and had
good-conduct marks on his clothes. This man was the
little boy whom Miss T. had picked up in Battersea
Park many years before, and who had learned of the
gospel of salvation entirely by listening to the maid-
servants singing sacred songs while scrubbing door-
steps and cleaning windows. The hymn that, as a
child, he seemed to make entirely his own was, ' I love
to tell the story,' though he knew several others when
VVM. G. FISCHER
Of the Gospel Hymns 187
he was picked up in the park. As he had never been
to church or chapel, the hymns were the only channel
through which divine truth had been conveyed to him,
and by which the first seed was sown in his heart that
made him a man of character and usefulness."
I Need Thee Every Hour
Words by Annie S. Hawks Music by Robert Lowry
"I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord."
A chaplain of the State prison at Concord, Massa-
chusetts, tells how an ex-prisoner, who had never had
a home in his life, prepared one, humble but tasteful,
and then asked the chaplain to help him dedicate it.
Together they entered the home — the man's wife had
not yet come — and the service began. " Mr. B., with
evident brokenness of spirit, for he was naturally a
proud man and not unacquainted with larger surround-
ings, could not refrain from some criticism upon his
poor things ; but his heart was so full that his embar-
rassment was only temporary, and he immediately went
on with a firm purpose. He started the hymn, ' I need
Thee every hour ' for the first number of the service."
" I need Thee every hour " was first sung at a
Sunday-school convention in Cincinnati, in November
of 1872. Two years later I sang it for the first time
at Mr. Moody's meetings in the East End of London.
After that we often used it in our prayer-meetings.
The singing of this hymn at a meeting in Chicago,
at the time of the World's Fair, led to the writing of
1 88 Sankey's Story
the now famous song, " Moment by Moment," by
D. W. Whittle.
In the Secret of His Presence
Words by Ellen Lakshmi Goreh Music by George C. Stebbins
"In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus*
The author of the words of this beautiful hymn
was a high-caste native of India. After her conver-
sion to Christianity, it is said, she spent some years in
the home of an English clergyman, and wrote the poem
*' In the Secret of His Presence " while there. It made
its appearance in a book of poems of which she was
the author. In 1883 the attention of Mr. Stebbins was
called to it, and he wrote the music at that time. The
hymn was first sung by him as an offertory in one of
the churches in Brooklyn, New York. It was often
repeated as an offertory, and on occasions was sung in
evangelistic services. But it had its larger introduc-
tion to the public during the All- Winter Mission con-
ducted by Mr. Moody and myself in London in the
winter of 1883-84, when I sang it frequently, as did
Mr. Stebbins, who spent several months assisting in the
mission. It was also often sung by Miss Beaucham,
daughter of the late Lady Beaucham and since the wife
of Colonel Drury-Lowe, one of the heroes of the Indian
Mutiny, and uncle of Lord Curzon, Viceroy and Gov-
ernor-General of India. The hymn at once came into
general favor, and the deeply spiritual tone of the
words brought blessing to many. The song was after-
wards published in " Gospel Hymns," and in " Sacred
Of the Gospel Hymns 1 89
Songs and Solos." Very soon it found its way into
all parts of the world. Dr. Hudson Taylor, head of
the great China Inland Mission, stated at Northfield
that it was the favorite hymn of his missionaries.
The winter of 1890-91 Mr. and Mrs. Stebbins
spent in India. While visiting the city of Allahabad,
the home of Miss Goreh, Mr. Stebbins sought her out
and made her acquaintance. He found her engaged in
mission work among the women of India, a modest,
devoted Christian, held in high esteem by missionaries
of all denominations and by all who knew her. Thus
the two singers whose names had become associated
in Christian sone met each other, — one from the far
East, and one from beyond far Western seas — both
inspired by the same Lord, in the secret of whose pres-
ence they long since came to abide.
It Is Finished
Words by the Rev. James Proctor Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Nothing, either great or small —
Nothing, sinner, no."
The Scotch people are especially fond of this
hymn. The author prefaced it with these lines : '* Since
I first discovered Jesus to be the end of the law for
righteousness to every one that believeth, I have more
than once met with a poor sinner seeking peace at the
foot of Sinai instead of Calvary, and I have heard him
again and again in bitter disappointment and fear
groaning out, * What must I do ? ' I have said to
him, * Do, do ? What can you do ? What do you need
190 Sankey's Story
It is Well with My Soul
Words by H. G. Spafford Music by P. P. Bliss
"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows hke sea-billows roll."
When Mr. Moody and I were holding meetings in
Edinburgh, in 1874, we heard the sad news of the loss
of the French steamer, '' Ville de Havre," on her return
from America to France, with a large number of mem-
bers of the Ecumenical Council, whose meetings had
been held in Philadelphia. On board the steamer was
a Mrs. Spafford, with her four children. In mid-ocean
a collision took place with a large sailing vessel, caus-
ing the steamer to sink in half an hour. Nearly all
on board were lost. Mrs. Spafford got her children
out of their berths and up on deck. On being told
that the vessel would soon sink, she knelt down with
her children in prayer, asking God that they might be
saved if possible ; or be made willing to die, if that was
his will. In a few minutes the vessel sank to the bot-
tom of the sea, and the children were lost. One of
the sailors of the vessel, named Lockurn — whom I
afterward met in Scotland — while rowing over the spot
where the vessel disappeared, discovered Mrs. Spaf-
ford floating in the water. Ten days later she was
landed at Cardiff, Wales. From there she cabled to
her husband, a lawyer in Chicago, the message, " Saved
alone." Mr. Spafford, who was a Christian, had the
message framed and hung up in his office. He started
immediately for England to bring his wife to Chicago.
Mr. Moody left his meetings in Edinburgh and went
to Liverpool to try to comfort the bereaved parents,
Of the Gospel Hymns 191
and was greatly pleased to find that they were able to
say : " It is well ; the will of God be done."
In 1876, when we returned to Chicago to work,
I was entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Spaf-
ford for a number of weeks. During that time Mr.
Spafford wrote the hymn, " It is well with my soul,"
in commemoration of the death of his children. P. P.
Bliss composed the music and sang it for the first time
at a meeting in Farwell Hall. The comforting fact in
connection with this incident was that in one of our
small meetings in North Chicago, a short time prior
to their sailing for Europe, the children had been
While still living in Chicago Mr. and Mrs. Spaf-
ford became much interested in the Second Coming
of Christ. So zealous did Mr. Spafford become that
he decided to go to Jerusalem with his wife and the
one remaining daughter, and there await the coming
of the Lord. Mr. Spafford died there not long after-
ward. Mrs. Spafford is the head of a society whose
headquarters are in a building outside of Jerusalem,
where a large number of people live, having all things
in common. When I visited Jerusalem some years
ago I met Mrs. Spafford on the Street of David. The
next day I received a call from Miss Spafford, who is
very popular amonsf the natives and has become the
teacher for a large body of children, instructing them
in English literature and in American ways.
This hymn was heard by a gentleman who had
suffered great financial reverses in the panic of 1899,
and who was in deepest despondency. When he learned
the story of the hymn he exclaimed : " If Spafford
192 Sankey's Story
could write such a beautiful resignation hymn I will
never complain again/*
I've Found a Friend
Words by J. G. Small Music by George C. Stebbins
"I've found a Friend, oh, such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him."
On one occasion when Mr. Moorehouse and I
were holding meetings at Scarboro, in the north of
England, the services were attended by a number of
Quaker ladies, among them a cousin of John Bright,
the great English statesman. Wishing to have this
hymn sung at one of the meetings, this lady wrote out
the following request : " Will Mr. Sankey please repeat
the hymn, ' I've found a Friend,' in his usual way ? "
In thus wording her note she avoided asking me to
sing, which is against the custom of the Society of
** We were holding a cottage prayer-meeting in a
lodging house," says a minister of Nottinghamshire,
England, " when a young man lodging there came in to
the meeting in a fun-seeking manner. We sang,
prayed and read a chapter out of God's Word, and
then the young man asked if we would sing a hymn
for him. He chose * I've found a Friend, oh, such a
Friend.' When we had sung one verse he began to
shed tears, and I am glad to say that he gave his heart
to God through the singing of that beautiful hymn.
The next morning he left the place, but before leaving
he wrote me a letter, of which I give these extracts : * I
asked you to sing that hymn because it was a favorite
of my darling sister, who is waiting for me at the gates
Of the Gospel Hymns 193
in heaven. I have now promised to meet her there.
By God's help, if we do not meet again on earth, I
promise to meet you in heaven. You will always think
of me when you sing, " I've Found a Friend." Show
this letter to my two other friends.' "
The author of this hymn, the Rev. J. G. Small,
who was born in Edinburgh in 181 7, and died in 1888,
wrote many hymns and poems and published several
Jesus, I Will Trust Thee
Words by Mary J. Walker Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Jesus, I will trust Thee,
Trust Thee with my soul."
Major Whittle gives an example of this hymn*s
usefulness, out of many instances : " I was holding
meetings in Belfast. At one of the after-meetings I
noticed a man remaining behind when almost all the
others had gone. I spoke to him and found that he
was a merchant in the city. He was in much distress
about his sins. I showed him Christ the Saviour, who
died for sinners, and tried to get him to appropriate
that Saviour to himself. I saw there was a great
struggle going on in his soul, the powers for good and
evil evidently striving for the mastery. We went down
on our knees and prayed. Then after a while he
straightened himself up and gave vent to his feelings
in this hymn, for he was a capital singer :
'Jesus, I will trust Thee,
Trust Thee with my soul;
Guilty, lost, and helpless,
Thou canst make me whole.'
194 Sankey's Story
It was a song of victory over Satan, and a song of
praise to Christ, through whom he had conquered.
From that hour he has done splendid work for Christ
among the worst of men."
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Words by Charles Wesley Music by Simeon B. Marsh
"Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly."
Several incidents have been narrated as having
suggested to Charles Wesley this hymn. One, that
a narrow escape from death in a storm on the Atlantic
inspired him to portray the thoughts of a Christian
in deadly peril. Another, that as he stood at an open
window on a summer day a little bird, pursued by a
hawk, sought refuge in his bosom, giving him the idea
of pointing out the soul's one sure place of refuge in
time of need.
Mrs. Mary Hoover, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania,
whose grandmother was the heroine of the story, has
related to her pastor this family tradition : Charles
Wesley was preaching in the fields of the parish of
Killyleagh, County Down, Ireland, when he was at-
tacked by men who did not approve of his doctrines.
Pie sought refuge in a house located on what was
known as the Island Band Farm. The farmer's wife,
Jane Lowrie Moore, told him to hide in the milkhouse,
down in the garden. Soon the mob came and de-
manded the fugitive. She tried to quiet them by offer-
ing them refreshments. Going down to the milk-
Of the Gospel Hymns 195
house, she directed Mr. Wesley to get through the rear
window and hide under the hedge, by which ran a Httle
brook. In that hiding-place, with the cries of his pur-
suers all about him, he wrote this immortal hymn.
Descendants of Mrs. Moore still live in the house,
which is much the same as it was in Wesley's time.
The great evangelist and president of Oberlin Col-
lege, Charles G. Finney, was walking about his
grounds shortly before his death. In the church where
he had preached for forty years the evening service was
going on. Presently he heard this hymn floating to
him from the distance. He joined with the invisible
congregation in singing the hymn to the end. Before
the next morning he had joined the choir about the
"An ungodly stranger," said Mr. Spurgeon,
" stepping into one of our services at Exeter Hall, was
brought to Christ by the singing of * Jesus, Lover of
my soul.' * Does Jesus love me ? ' said he ; * then why
should I live in enmity with him ? ' "
Tom was a drummer boy in the army, and the
men called him '* the young deacon " because of his
sobriety and religious example. One day the chap-
lain found him sitting under a tree alone, with tears
in his eyes.
" Well, Tom, my boy, what is it?"
196 Sankey's Story
" I had a dream last night, which I can't get out
of my mind."
"What was it?"
'' My mother was a widow, poor but good. She
never was like herself after my sister Mary died. A
year ago she died, too ; and I, having no home and no
mother, came to the war. But last night I dreamed
the war was over and I went back home, and just be-
fore I got to the house my sister and mother came out
to meet me. I didn't seem to remember that they
were dead. How glad they were ! Oh, sir, it was just
as real as you are real now."
" Thank God, Tom," said the chaplain, " that you
have such a mother, not really dead, but in heaven."
The boy wiped his eyes and was comforted. The
next day Tom's drum was heard all day long in a ter-
rible battle. At night it was known that " the young
deacon " was lying wounded on the field. In the
evening, when all was still, they heard a voice singing
away off on the field, and they felt sure that it was
Tom's voice. Softly the words of " Jesus, Lover of my
soul " floated on the wings of the night. After the sec-
ond verse the voice grew weak and stopped. In the
morning the soldiers found Tom sitting on the ground,
leaning against a stump, dead,
A vessel had gone on the rocks in the English
Channel. The crew, with their captain, took to the
boats and were lost. They might have been safe, had
they remained on the vessel, as a huge wave carried
her high up on the rocks. On the table in the captain's
cabin was found a hymn-book, opened at this hymn,
Of tlte Gospel Hymns 197
and in it lay the pencil which had marked the favorite
words of the captain. While the hurricane was howl-
ing outside and the vessel sinking, he had drawn his
pencil beneath these words of cheer:
"Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly.
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high/*
" I would rather have written that hymn of Wes-
ley's, ' Jesus, Lover of my soul,' " Henry Ward Beecher
once said, " than to have the fame of all the kings that
ever sat on earth. It is more glorious; it has more
power in it. I would rather be the author of that
hymn than to hold the wealth of the richest man in
New York. It will go on singing until the trump
brings forth the angel band ; and then I think it will
mount up on some lip to the very presence of God."
Dr. George Duffield — himself the author of so
fine a hymn as " Stand up, stand up for Jesus " — in his
old age paid this tribute out of a lifelong experience :
* One of the most blessed days of my life was when I
found, after my harp had long hung on the willows,
that I could sing again ; that a new song was put in my
mouth ; and when, ere ever I was aware, I was singing,
* Jesus, Lover of my soul.' If there is anything in
Christian experience of joy and sorrow, of affliction
and prosperity, of life and death — that hymn is the
hymn of the ages ! "
This was the last hymn we sang as the body of
Mr. Moody was being lowered into the grave.
198 Sankey's Story
Jesus Loves Even Me
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"I am SO glad that our Father in heaven
Tells of His love in the Book He has given."
" I think it was in June, 1870, that ' Jesus Loves
Even Me ' was written," writes Major Whittle. " Mr.
and Mrs. Bliss were at that time members of my fam-
ily in Chicago. One morning Mrs. Bliss came down
to breakfast and said, as she entered the room : ' Last
night Mr. Bliss had a tune given to him that I think
is going to live and be one of the most useful that he
has written. I have been singing it all the morning,
and I cannot get it out of my mind.' She then sang
the notes over to us. The idea of Bliss, in writing the
hymn, was to bring out the truth that the peace and
comfort of a Christian are not founded so much upon
his love to Christ as upon Christ's love to him, and that
to occupy the mind with Christ's love would produce
love and consecration — as taught in Romans 5:5,' The
love of God [to us] is shed abroad in our hearts by
the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.' How much
God has used this little song to lead sinners and doubt-
ing Christians to look away to Jesus, eternity alone
Mr. Bliss said that this song was suggested to
him by hearing the chorus of the hymn, '*Oh, how I
love Jesus," repeated very frequently in a meeting
which he attended. After joining in the chorus a
number of times the thought came to him, " Have I
not been singing enough about my poor love for Jesus,
and shall I not rather sing of his great love for me ? "
^f the Gospel Hymns 1 99
Under the impulse of this thought he went home and
composed this, one of his most popular children's
" A young woman in England," says Major Whit-
tle, " went to a meeting where she heard Mr. Sankey
sing, * I am so glad that Jesus loves me.' While the
hymn was being sung she began to feel for the first
time in her life that she was a sinner. All her sins
came up in an array before her ; and so numerous and
aggravated did they appear, that she imagined she
could never be saved. She said in her heart, ^ Jesus
cannot love me. He could not love such a sinner as I.*
She went home in a state of extreme mental anguish,
and did not sleep that night. Every opportunity to
obtain more light was eagerly seized. She took her
place in the inquiry-room ; and there she found, to her
astonishment and joy that Jesus could, did, does love
sinners. She saw in God's open word that it was for
sinners that he died, and for none others. When she
realized this she began to sing * I am so glad that Jesus
loves me, — ^Jesus loves even me.* "
A minister was holding meetings in Indiana. A
few miles distant lived an old Englishman who had
not been inside a church for seven years. He was
persuaded to take his children to the meeting one Sun-
day night. He declared afterward that nothing of
what was said or done interested him until the close
of the service, when * Jesus loves me ' was sung. On
his way home, and until he went to sleep, he could
think of nothing but the hymn. When he awoke in
200 Sankeys Story
the morning the first thing he thought of was, ' Jesus
loves me/ He could not get it out of his mind, and
when he was out in the field afterward he could think
of nothing else. Was it possible that God could love
a sinner like him? His eyes were so blinded with
tears that he could not see to go on with his work. Out
on that lonely field the old man found his Saviour. The
next evening he visited the meeting, and as he told
his experience tears were in the eyes of all the people.
During the winter after the great fire in Chicago,
when the place was being built up with small frame
houses for the poor, a mother sent for me one day to
visit her little sick girl, who was one of our Sunday-
school scholars. I remembered her quite well, and
was glad to go. Finding that she was beyond hope of
recovery, I asked how it was with her.
" It is all well with me," she replied ; " but I wish
you would speak to father and mother."
It was plain that she loved Jesus, and I asked her
when she became a Christian. " Don't you remember
last Thursday in the Tabernacle," she said, " when we
had the children's meeting, and you sang * Jesus loves
me,* and don't you remember how you told us that if
we would give our hearts to him he would love us?
It was that day that I gave mvself to Jesus. And now
I am going to be with him, for the doctors say that I
will die to-day."
The testimony of that little girl, in that neglected
quarter of the city, did more to encourage me to sing
on than anything else, for she was my first convert.
This song was much used in the meetings con-
Of the Gospel Hymns 201
ducted by Mr. Moody in Great Britain in 1873-4, and
was given out to the congregation as an opening hymn
more often than any other. As written by Mr. Bliss it
consisted of three verses and a chorus. Some one un-
known to the writer has written three additional verses
beginning, ' Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him."
Jesus Loves Me
Words by Anna B. Warner Music by William B. Bradbury
"Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so."
The Rev. Dr. Jacob Chamberlain, who for many
years has been working among the Hindus, writes as
follows regarding this hymn, long one of the most
popular children's songs in the world : *' Many jears
ago I translated into Telugu the children's hymn,
* Jesus loves me * and taught it to the children of our
day-school. Scarcely a week later, as I was going
through the narrow streets of the native town on horse-
back, I heard singing that sounded natural, down a
side street. I stopped \.o_ listen, cautiously drawing
up to the corner, where unobserved I could look down
the street and see and hear. And there was a little
heathen boy, with heathen men and women standing
around him, singing away at the top of his voice :
'Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so . . .
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so!*
As he completed the verse some one asked the question :
'Sonny, where did you learn that song?* 'Over at
202 Sankey's Story
the Missionary School,' was the answer. * Who is
that Jesus, and what is the Bible ? ' ' Oh ! the Bible
is the book from God, they say, to teach us how to get
to heaven, and Jesus is the name of the divine Re-
deemer that came into the world to save us from our
sins ; that is what the missionaries say/ ' Well, the
song is a nice one. Come, sing us some more.'
And so the little boy went on — a heathen himself, and
singing to the heathen — about Jesus and his love.
* That is preaching the Gospel by proxy,' I said to my-
self, as I turned my pony and rode away, well satisfied
to leave my little proxy to tell his interested audience
all he himself knew, and sing to them over and over
that sweet song of salvation."
Jesus of Nazareth Passeth By-
words by Emma Campbell Music by T. E. Perkins
"What means this eager, anxious throng,
Which moves with busy haste along? "
An officer of the English army sends me the fol-
lowing incident : " A soldier was stationed at Edin-
burgh Castle, and one evening left his post on a pass
until midnight. He had a week's pay in one pocket
and the washing money earned by his wife in the other,
and was on his way to the public house to have a night
in gambling. His eye caught the poster outside the
Tolbooth Church, announcing your meetings. The
officer liked the singing, and went in just to hear one
song. As he entered Mr. Moody was preaching on
* The Blood.' That had no interest for him. After
the address you sang, ' Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.'
He listened with deep interest to the hymn. *Too
Of the Gospel Hymns 203
late, too late,' was God's arrow to his soul. An officer
of his regiment and I went into the inquiry-room, and
among a great crowd we saw this comrade's red coat.
He was in great distress. We spoke to him, holding
to John 3 : 16.
" That night the man went home instead of to the
public house, and his wife was astonished to see him
so early, and sober. He laid down all the money on
the table, which astonished her still more. Then he
went to bed, but was in too great distress to be able to
sleep. The words ' Too late, too late ' rang in his
ears. About two o'clock in the morning John 3 : 16
gleamed into his soul. He leaped from the bed,
pleaded that grand promise, and Jesus received him.
This was told the following morning by himself at the
Castle. He held to his faith, and when the regiment
left he was known throughout the camp as a man of
God. The glorious Gospel with him began in song,
and goes on in song."
A similar experience is related by another con-
vert : " It was on the 28th of December that I, like
(I dare say) a great many others, went up to the As-
sembly Hall, out of sheer curiosity, an unconverted
sinner. I heard Mr. Moody preach, and I am sorry
to say I was very little affected by it. After IMr.
Moody had finished his discourse, IMr. Sankey sang
* Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.' I was deeply moved
by it, and when he came to the lines,
'Too late! too late! will be the cry;
Jesus of Nazareth has passed by;'
oh ! I thought to myself, will that not be my cry? Will
204 Sankeys Story
God not then say to me, ' Depart from me, I never
knew you ? ' I felt in great anguish of soul, but I went
home without remaining to the inquiry-meeting. All
the way home those two lines still rang in my ears.
It was a long time before I could go to sleep. My
brain seemed all afire ; my past sins came up one by
one before my mind. At last I fell asleep, but only
to wake with a start under the impression that a bright
light had suddenly been extinguished in my room, and
had left me in utter darkness. Immediately those
lines sounded in my ears. I was able to be the in-
terpreter of my own dream. The bright light was
Jesus, and the darkness was that of my own soul ; for
he had passed by and I had not been saved. I had
very little sleep that night. On the Monday night I
came to the inquiry-meeting and Mr. spoke to me,
showing me plainly that I had nothing to do — Christ
had done it all. I was only to believe in him. And
before I left the hall that evening, by the blessing of
God I was able to accept Christ as my Saviour. Upon
going home I opened a Bible, and the first words that
met my eye were John 3 : i6: ' God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal
life.' I knew the whosoever included myself, and
I rejoiced in it. I am doing so now ; and, by the help
of God, I hope to do so till I find myself in my
At one of our early meetings in Edinburgh an
old gentleman, more than seventy years of age, threw
himself down on his knees and, sobbing like a child.
Of the Gospel Hymns 205
said : " I was utterly careless about my soul until last
night, but I have been so unhappy since I could not
sleep. I seemed to hear ringing in my ears, * Jesus
of Nazareth passeth by,' and I feel that if I am not
saved now, I never shall be."
A lady traveling in the East tells of a visit she
made to the Girls' Orphanage in Nazareth, an institu-
tion estabhshed many years ago in the town where
Jesus spent so many years of his early life. The Or-
phanage was established by a society of Christians in
London. Here the lady heard the children sweetly
singing : " Jesus of Nazareth passeth by," and she says
that the children were sure the words were all meant
A young naval officer attended one of our meet-
ings in London. On being asked how he liked the
address he repHed : " I did not hear it, but I did like
that song, ' What means this eager, anxious throng ? '
He was invited to attend again, and he responded:
" Well, I enjoyed that solo, and I will go to hear the
singing." He did so ; the same song was sung again,
and so moved him that he remained for the inquiry-
meeting. There he was saved through the mercy of
God. A week later, in an accident, he was instantly
killed, and so suddenly passed into the company of the
The hymn was written during a religious revival
in Newark, New Jersey, in i863-'64, where hundreds
were converted. One afternoon Mr. R. G. Pardee
2o6 Sankeys Story
made a very earnest address from Luke i8: 37 — **They
told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by." Miss
Emma Campbell was present, heard the address and
saw how the community was stirred, and soon after-
ward she wrote these stanzas. The Rev. E. P. Ham-
mond, who had conducted the revival meetings, tried
the verses to the tune of ' Sweet hour of prayer.' "
Later Mr. T. E. Perkins wrote the tune to which
this hymn is now sung. It was one of the first favor-
ites at our meetings in England. The printed records
of the meetings of these days bear testimony that hun-
dreds confessed to have accepted Christ during the
singing of this hymn as a solo. Rev. Andrew A. Bonar
— brother of Dr. Horatius Bonar, the great hymn-
writer — speaking of this hymn in his " Life of James
Scott," says, " Some of us in listening to these two mes-
sengers, the one singing, the other preaching, used to
think of what is told in 2 Kings 3:15. EHsha, before
beginning to prophesy, called for a minstrel, and when
the camp of soldiers had been calmed and melted by
harp and song, the hand of the Lord came upon the
speaker. Had you been in Edinburgh during the four
months when these brethren were there in 1873, you
would have seen multitudes of all ages and stations
hastening to the place of meeting, at whatever hour,
any day of the week. The scene was exactly that de-
scribed in the hymn, so often sung, and so much
'What means this eager, anxious throng,
Which moves with busy haste along.
These wondrous gatherings day by day?
What means this strange commotion, pray? * "
Of the Gospel Hymns 207
Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me !
Words by the Rev. Edward Hopper Music by J. E. Gould
"Jesus, Saviour, pilot me,
Over life's tempestuous sea."
Major D. W. Whittle told me the following inci-
dent in connection with this hymn : " I went with Gen-
eral O. O. Howard to hold meetings for the soldiers
at Tampa, Florida, and one day while going through
the camp I found a young man dying of fever. I knelt
by his side and asked him if he was a Christian. He
replied that he was not, but said that his father and
mother were Christians ; and he asked me to pray for
him. I did so, but no deep impression was made upon
his heart. I went away with a sorrowing heart and
promised to return another day. Two days later I
visited him again and, praying with him, the Lord put
into my mind to sing, * Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.' The
dying soldier said : * Oh, that sounds good ; it puts me
in mind of my beloved sister in Michigan, who used
to sing this hymn for me before I entered the army.'
He wanted me to repeat it over and over again for him,
and finally he asked : * Will Jesus be my pilot into the
haven of rest ? ' I told the young man that Jesus would.
' Then,' he said, ' I will trust him with all my heart.'
The next day I called to see him again, but his com-
rade said : ' He passed away during the night.' "
The author of this hymn was born in New York
in 1818, and for many years was the pastor of the
Church of Sea and Land, in that city. The hymn was
first published in 1871, in " The Sailors' Magazine."
2o8 Safikey's Story
Just as I Am
Words by Charlotte Elliott Music by WUliam B. Bradbury
"Just as I am, without one plea.
But that Thy blood was shed for me."
Miss Charlotte Elliott was visiting some friends
in the West End of London, and there met the eminent
minister, Cesar Malan. While seated at supper, the
minister said he hoped that she was a Christian. She
took offense at this, and replied that she would rather
not discuss that question. Dr. Malan said that he was
sorry if he had offended her, that he always liked to
speak a word for his Master, and that he hoped that
the young lady would some day become a worker for
Christ. When they met again at the home of a mutual
friend, three weeks later. Miss Elliott told the minister
that ever since he had spoken to her she had been try-
ing to find her Saviour, and that she now wished him
to tell her how to come to Christ. "Just come to
him as you are," Dr. Malan said. This she did, and
went away rejoicing. Shortly afterward she wrote
this hymn, '* Just as I am, without ope plea." It was
first published in " The Invalid's Hymn Book," in 1836.
" In all my preaching," said her brother, the Rev.
H. V. Elliott, " I have not done so much good as my
sister has been permitted to accomplish by writing her
one hymn, ' Just as I am.' "
A little street waif in New York City came to a
missionary with a torn and dirty piece of paper, on
which this hymn was printed.
Of the Gospel Hymins 209
" Please, sir," he said, '* father sent me to get a
clean copy like that.*'
The missionary learned that the child's sister had
loved to sing it, and that this copy had been found in
her pocket after her death. The father wanted to
obtain a clean copy of the verses in order to frame them.
During a service of song in a Christian church,
John B. Gough was asked by a man in the pew with
him what was to be sung, as the announcement had
not been heard. The questioner was most repulsive
in appearance, because of a nervous disease that dis-
figured his face and form. When the singing began,
Gough was driven almost to frenzy by the harsh and
discordant tones of the singer by his side. But when
they came to " Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind," the
wretched creature lifted his sightless eyes to heaven
and sang with his whole soul. The great orator, in
his impassioned and inimitable way, said:
*' I have heard the finest strains of orchestra, choir,
and soloist this world can produce, but I never heard
music until I heard that blind man sing, ' O, Lamb of
God, I come, I come.' "
Lead, Kindly Light
Words by John H. Newman Music by John B. Dykes
"Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on."
Dr. Newman wrote this hymn in 1833, just before
he entered upon the tractarian movement in the Estab-
hshed Church. He had been at Rome, and stopping at
2IO Sankey's Story
Sicily on his homeward way, he there became danger-
ously ill of fever. Upon recovery, he took passage on
an orange boat for Marseilles, being under the impres-
sion that he must return to England and begin a move-
ment for the reformation of the Church in accord with
his peculiar views. The sailing vessel was becalmed
for a week in the Straits of Bonifacio, between Corsica
and Sardinia. It was on this vessel and under such
circumstances, his body sweltering in the heat and his
mind racked with conflicting views as to his duty in
the contemplated mission to the Established Church,
that he penned the lines of this now cherished hymn.
Its original title was *' The Pillar of the Cloud," the
hymn appearing first in " The British Magazine.'*
Let the Lower Lights be Burning
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
" Brightly beams our Father's mercy
From His lighthouse evermore."
The words of this hymn were suggested to Mr.
Bliss on hearing Mr. Moody tell the following incident :
** On a dark, stormy night, when the waves rolled like
mountains and not a star was to be seen, a boat, rock-
ing and plunging, neared the Cleveland harbor. ' Are
you sure this is Cleveland ? ' asked the captain, seeing
only one light from the lighthouse. * Quite sure, sir,'
replied the pilot. * Where are the lower lights ? *
' Gone out, sir.' * Can you make the harbor ? ' ' We
must, or perish, sir ! ' With a strong hand and a brave
heart the old pilot turned the wheel. But alas, in the
darkness he missed the channel, and with a crash upon
Of the Gospel Hymns 2 1 1
the rocks the boat was shivered, and many a Hfe lost
in a watery grave. Brethren, the Master will take
care of the great lighthouse; let us keep the lower
lights burning ! "
Let the Saviour in
Words by J. B. Atchinson Music by E. O. Excel!
"There's a Stranger at the door;
Let Him in!"
In Great Britain this favorite hymn brought bless-
ing to a retired colonel of the English army, at one
of Mr. Moody's meetings on the banks of the Thames.
The colonel had become anxious about his spiritual
condition, and decided to go to London to attend our
meetings there. At the conclusion of one of the even-
ing services, as he was about to leave the great build-
ing, his attention was arrested by a sweet voice singing,
" Let the Saviour in." On taking the train at Padding-
ton station for Bournemouth, the song remained in his
heart and the wheels of the train seemed to repeat in
his ears the refrain, *' Let him in ! let the Saviour in ! "
He went again to London and sought out the
singer whose voice had so impressed him. She was
a lady of high rank, and in the course of a few months
became the wife of the gallant colonel. A year later
they moved to Florida, where I had the pleasure of vis-
iting them in their home. On my invitation, they ac-
companied me to a near-by town where I was holding
meetings. At the conclusion of my lecture the lady
sang this hymn again, and so sweetly that it moved the
audience to tears.
212 Sankey's Story
Words by R. Heber Music by Dr. Lowell Mason
"From Greenland's icy mountains,
From India's coral strand."
The author of this hymn was Dean of Hodnet and
afterward Bishop of Calcutta. He was visiting his
father-in-law, the Vicar of Wrexham, they being to-
gether in the Vicar's study on the Saturday before
Whitsunday, 1819. Each was preparing a missionary
sermon to be delivered the following day, when the
Vicar spoke up:
" Heber, write something appropriate to sing at
our services to-morrow."
Immediately retiring to the other end of the room,
Heber sat down by the window and composed the
four stanzas which now constitute this hymn. He
wanted to add a fifth, but the Vicar said : " Nay ; you
will only destroy the beauty and symmetry of the com-
position ; let it stand."
The song was sung for the first time on that Whit-
sunday. Bishop Heber laid down his life, seven years
later, on the mission field of India. Of the many hymns
which he wrote, nearly all are in common use.
Moment by Moment
Words by D. W. Whittle Music by May Whittle Moody
"Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus a new life divine."
While I was attending the World's Fair, in Chi-
cago, Henry Varley, a lay preacher from London, said
to Major Whittle: " I do not like the hymn * I need
MAJOR D. W. WHITTLE
Of the Gospel Hymns 2 1 5
Thee every hour ' very well, because I need Him every
moment of the day." Soon after Major Whittle wrote
this sweet hymn, having the chorus :
"Moment by moment I'm kept in His love;
Moment by moment I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine."
Mr. Whittle brought the hymn to me in manu-
script a little later, saying that he would give me the
copyright of both the words and music if I would print
for him five hundred copies on fine paper, for distrib-
uting among his friends. His daughter. May Whittle,
who later became the wife of Will R. Moody, composed
the music. I did as Mr. Whittle wished; and I sent
the hymn to England, where it was copyrighted on the
same day as at Washington.
In England the hymn became very popular. Fall-
ing into the hands of the well-known Rev. Andrew
Murray, of South Africa, then visiting London, he
adopted it as his favorite hymn. A year later Mr.
Murray visited Northfield, and while holding a meet-
ing for men in the church he remarked : " If Sankey
only knew a hymn which I found in London, and would
sing it, he would find that it embraces my entire creed."
I was very anxious to know what hymn it was,
and when he had recited it I said to him : " Doctor, that
hymn was written within five hundred yards of where
we are standing."
For years Dr. Murray had his wife sing this hymn
in nearly all his meetings. It also became a great
favorite in South Africa during the war.
2i6 Sankey's Story
More to Follow
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"Have you on the Lord believed?
Still there's more to follow."
The suggestion for this hymn came to Mr. Bliss
through hearing Mr. Moody tell the story of a vast
fortune which was left in the hands of a minister for
one of his poor parishioners. Fearing that it might
be squandered if suddenly bestowed upon the bene-
ficiary, the wise minister sent him a little at the time,
with a note, saying : " This is thine ; use it wisely ; there
is more to follow."
Must I Go, and Empty-Handed
Words by C. C. Luther Music by George C. Stebbins
"Must I go, and empty-handed?
Thus my dear Redeemer meet?"
During a series of evangelistic meetings the Rev.
A. G. Upham referred in his sermon to a young man
who, dying after only a month of Christian service, said
to a friend, " No, I am not afraid ; Jesus saves me now.
But oh ! must I go, and empty-handed ? " The incident
made a strong impression upon the Rev. C. C. Luther —
for whom Mr. Upham was preaching — and in a few
minutes the words of this hymn had arranged them-
selves in Mr. Luther's mind. A few days later he
handed them to Mr. Stebbins, who composed the beau-
tiful tune to which they are sung.
About fifteen years ago a man who was living a
reckless, godless life, went to a Sunday morning service
Of the Gospel Hymns 2 1 7
in a mission hall in Essex, England. This hymn was
used in the service, and as the third verse was rendered,
"Oh, the years of sinning wasted,
Could I but recall them now,
I would give them to my Saviour,
To His will I'd gladly bow,"
the man was so forcibly impressed that he could not
take part in the singing. He w^ent home miserable,
and was unable to eat any dinner. In the afternoon
he went to a Bible-class for workingmen, conducted at
the other end of the village. As he entered the same
hymn was being sung that had made him so miserable
in the morning, " Must I go, and empty-handed ? "
The man was so moved by the words of the hymn,
and so impressed by the coincidence of its being sung
at both places where he had attended, that it resulted in
his conversion. He lived a consistent life thereafter,
showing a real change of heart and a strong desire to
no longer waste his years in sinning.
My Ain Countrie
Words by Mary Lee Demarest Har. by H. P. M. Music by Mrs. lone T. Hanxia
"I am far frae my hame, an* I'm weary aften-whiles.
For the longed-for hame-bringin', an my Faither's welcomo
Many years ago John jMacduff and his young
bride left Scotland on a sailing vessel for America,
there to seek their fortune. After tarrying a few
weeks in New York they went West, where they were
successful in accumulating a good competence. By
2i8 Sankeys Story
and by the wife's health began to fail. The anxious
husband said that he feared she was homesick.
" John," she replied, *' I am wearying for my ain
countrie ; will ye not taik me to the sea, that I may see
the ships sailing to the homeland once more ? "
Her husband's heart was moved with compassion.
In a few weeks he sold their Western home and took
his wife East to a pleasant little cottage by the sea,
whose further shore broke on the rocks that line the
coast of Scotland. She would often sit and gaze wist-
fully at the ships sailing from the bay, one after an-
other disappearing below the horizon on their way to
her ain countrie. Although she uttered no complaint,
it was evident that she was silently pining away. John
was afraid that she would die in a foreign land; and
as an effort to save her he sold his New England home,
and took her back across the ocean. She was speedily
recovered by the keen mountain air, the sight of purple
heather, nodding bluebells, and hedge-rows white with
fragrant hawthorn blossoms in bonnie Scotland, her
own dear native land. To her it was home. And
there is no sweeter word in any language than home !
A few years prior to this time, in 1838, Mary Lee
was born at Croton Falls, New York. At an early
age she lost her mother and was left in charge of a
Scotch nurse, from whom she learned something of
the Scottish dialect. And her grandfather, a native
of Scotland, had often sung little Mary to sleep with
Scottish lullabies. As a young woman she was re-
fined and highly educated, and she exhibited unusual
literary talent. Most of all she was esteemed for her
noble Christian character, manifested in daily life. At
HUBERT P. MAIN
Of the Gospel Hymns 221
the age of twenty-three, Mary Lee wrote this immortal
poem after hearing the story of John Macduff and
his wife, and published it first in *' The New York Ob-
server." Later it appeared in a volume of her poems.
After her marriage to Mr. Demarest they resided in
Pasadena, California, where she died in 1887. While
visiting that town a number of years later, I went to the
cemetery to see if I could find the grave of the beloved
hymn-writer, but was unable to do so. Afterward I
learned that her body was brought East and buried in
a small town not far from Albany, New York.
This hymn was one of my favorite solos, and was
much loved by Mr. Moody.
My Country, 'Tis of Thee
Words by S. F. Smith, D. D. Music by Henry Carey
"My country, 'tis of thee.
Sweet land of liberty."
The words of this popular hymn, now known as
the national hymn of America, were written in 1832.
Dr. Smith says : " I found the tune in a German music-
book, brought to this country by the late William C.
Woodbridge, and put into my hands by Lowell Mason,
because I could read German books and he could not."
The real origin of the tune is much disputed, but the
credit is usually given to Henry Carey. The hymn
was first sung at a children's Fourth of July celebra-
tion, in the Park Street Church, Boston. Dr. Samuel
Francis Smith was born in Boston, October 21, 1808.
He died in the same city, November 16, 1895, ^t the
'* New York and New England " depot, while on his
way to fulfill an engagement to preach at Readville.
222 Saiikeys Story
While traveling in Egypt I met the author's son,
who is a missionary in that country, and said to him
that if I ever got home I would sing his father's song
with new interest ; for I was now more than ever con-
vinced that my beloved America, the land of liberty,
was the dearest of all lands to me.
Dr. Smith visited the Board of Trade in Chicago
in May of 1887. While sitting in the gallery he was
pointed out to some of the members. Soon he became
the center of considerable notice. All at once the trad-
ing on the floor ceased, and from the wheat-pit came
the familiar words, " My country, 'tis of thee." After
two stanzas had been sung. Dr. Smith arose and bowed.
A rousing cheer was given by the men on the floor,
to which Dr. Smith was now escorted by the secretary
of the Board. The members flocked around Dr. Smith
and grasped his hand. Then they opened a passage
through the crowd and led him to the wheat-pit, where
they took off their hats and sang the rest of the hymn.
My Faith Looks up to Thee
Words by Ray Palmer Music by Dr. Lowell Mason
"My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary."
" I gave form to what I felt," says Dr. Palmer,
" by writing, with little effort, the stanzas. I recollect
I wrote them with tender emotion and ended the last
line with tears." He placed the manuscript in a pocket-
book, and carried it there for some time. One day, in
Of the Gospel Hymns 223
Boston, he met Dr. Lowell Mason, who inquired if Mr.
Palmer had not some hymn to contribute to his new
book. The pocket-book was produced and the hymn
was brought to light. Dr. Mason took a copy of the
song, and after reaching home was so much impressed
with it that he wrote for it the famous tune '' Olivet,"
to which it is usually sung. A short time after he met
the author on the street and exclaimed :
" Mr. Palmer, you may live many years and do
many good things, but I think you will be best known
to posterity as the author of * My faith looks up to
The hymn was published in 1832, but did not at
first receive much notice. The Rev. Andrew Reed, D.D.,
of Scotland — who wrote " Why not to-night ? " for
which I composed the music — found a copy of the
hymn in a religious newspaper while traveling in this
country, took it home, and published it anonymously in.
Dr. Palmer wrote me the following incident:
" During the Civil War, and on the evening preceding
a terrible battle, six or eight Christian young men,
who were looking forward to deadly strife, met to-
gether in one of their tents for prayer. After spending
some time in committing themselves to God and in
Christian conversation, and freely speaking together
of the probability that they would not all survive the
morrow, it was suggested by one of the number that
they should draw up a paper expressive of the feelings
with which they went to stand face to face with death,
and all sign it ; and that this should be left as a testi-
224 Sankey's Story
mony to the friends of such of them as might fall.
This was unanimously agreed to. After consultation,
it was decided that a copy of ' My faith looks up to
Thee ' should be written out, and that each man should
subscribe his name to it, so that father, mother, sister
or brother might know in what spirit they laid down
their lives. Of course, they did not all meet again.
The incident was related afterward by one who sur-
vived the battle."
My Jesus, I Love Thee
Anonymous Music by A. J. Gordon
"My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine.
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign."
A Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Michigan once
related the following incident to a large audience in one
of the Rev. E. P. Hammond's meetings in St. Louis :
*' A young, talented and tender-hearted actress was
passing along the street of a large city. Seeing a pale,
sick girl lying upon a couch just within the half-open
door of a beautiful dwelling, she entered, with the
thought that by her vivacity and pleasant conversation
she might cheer the young invahd. The sick girl was
a devoted Christian, and her words, her patience, her
submission and heaven-lit countenance, so demon-
strated the spirit of her religion that the actress was
led to give some earnest thought to the claims of Chris-
tianity, and was thoroughly converted, and became a
true follower of Christ. She told her father, the leader
of the theater troupe, of her conversion, and of her
desire to abandon the stage, stating that she could
Of the Gospel Hymns 225
not live a consistent Christian life and follow the life
of an actress. Her father was astonished beyond
measure, and told his daughter that their living would
be lost to them and their business ruined, if she per-
sisted in her resolution. Loving her father dearly, she
was shaken somewhat in her purpose, and partially
consented to fill the published engagement to be met
in a few days. She was the star of the troupe, and a
general favorite. Every preparation was made for the
play in which she was to appear. The evening came
and the father rejoiced that he had won back his daugh-
ter, and that their living was not to be lost. The hour
arrived ; a large audience had assembled. The curtain
rose, and the young actress stepped forward firmly
amid the applause of the multitude. But an unwonted
light beamed from her beautiful face. Amid the breath-
less silence of the audience she repeated:
*My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.*
This was all. Through Christ she had conquered, and,
leaving her audience in tears, she retired from the
stage, never to appear upon it again. Through her
influence her father was converted, and through their
united evangelistic labors many were led to God."
This selection was sung by a thousand voices at
the funeral of the Scotch missionary hero, Robert
Annan, who was drowned in the bay of Dundee while
attempting to rescue a drowning child, in 1867. Under
226 Sankey's Story
the hymn " Eternity," previously mentioned in this
book, more will be found concerning Robert Annan.
Nearer, My God to Thee
Words by Sarah F. Adams Music by Dr. Lowell Mason
"Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee."
One of my last lectures on " Sacred Song and
Story " was delivered before a large audience in the
Church of the Covenant, in Washington, D. C, at
Avhich the late Secretary of State, John Hay, members
of Congress, and Judges of the Supreme Court were
present. The favorite hymn, " Nearer, my God, to
Thee," was sung very heartily by the congregation. I
requested the pastor, the Rev. Dr. Hamlin, to make
an appointment for an interview with President Mc-
Kinley. Two days later we visited the White House.
The President greeted me warmly, saying he was very
glad to meet me, as he had often heard me sing in Ohio.
*' I understand that you are quite a fine singer your-
self," I replied. He smiled and said : " I don't know
as to that, but I try to sing with the spirit and with
the understanding." He seemed very bright and
happy, and he gave me his autograph. The next day
the President went to New York and attended service
at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, during
which " Nearer, my God, to Thee " was sung. The
President's voice was heard, as he joined heartily in
his favorite hymn. A reporter took a photograph of
the President as he was singing, which appeared the
next day in one of the New York papers. In 1902,
Of the Gospel Hymns 227
in Buffalo, as he lay dying by the hand of an assassin,
the martyred President was heard singing faintly,
"Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee;
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me!
Still all my song shall be —
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!"
And thus passed away one of the noblest men of our
age. On the day of his funeral, at Canton, Ohio, all
trains, trolley cars and nearly all machinery in the
United States were stopped for five minutes, and
** Nearer, my God, to Thee " was sung in nearly every
church in the land.
Bishop Marvin, of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, was traveling during the Civil War in the
wilds of Arkansas. He was feeling much depressed,
for the Union troops had driven him from his home.
As he approached a dilapidated old log cabin he heard
some one singing, '' Nearer, my God, to Thee." He
alighted and entered the house. There he found a
poor woman, widowed and old, who was singing in the
midst of such poverty as he had never seen before.
His despondency vanished and he went on his way
happy and trustful, because of the faith which he had
seen and the hymn which he had heard.
A little drummer boy was found, after the battle
of Fort Donelson, by one who visited the field. The
poor lad had lost an arm, which had been carried away
228 Sankey's Story
by a cannon ball, but even as he lay there dying he was
singing, " Nearer, my God, to Thee."
No Hope in Jesus
Words by W. O. Gushing Music by Robert Lowry
"Oh, to have no Christ, no Saviour!
No Rock, no Refuge nigh!"
From the " Rescue Mission," of Syracuse, New
York, comes this incident. " One of the workers at the
Rescue Mission sat at the window sewing. She is not
a grand singer, in fact, scarcely ever sings in the meet-
ing ; but alone by herself she sings the Gospel songs.
She was singing :
*Oh, to have no Christ, no Saviour. . . ,
How dark this world must be!*
When she had finished she heard some one calling, and
saw two girls looking over a neighboring fence. One
said : * Won't you please sing that again ? '
** I am afraid some of us would have begun to
make excuse, and say we were not singers. But this
soul sang it over again, praying God to bless the song,
and then went to talk with them. She recognized
them as inmates of a house of evil resort, and asked
permission to call on them. They would not grant
this, but the next day one came to the mission and
threw herself, weeping, into the arms of the singer,
saying : ' I have been so unhappy since I heard you
sing! You remind me of my mother and the days
when I was innocent and good. I had a good home,
but quarreled with my mother, ran away and got into
WKere is rny Nvand'ring bo^/ <o-moKt-TSelx>\/ ofir»^ tend'resf care.
t S))aU coe Qdiher af |>>fe n'ver. Where bripH ^^^ff^i} ^^^^ ^^^ trod
L|j I i.}i.i \ .},i\U MU4XrU]
Of the Gospel Hymns 231
a life of sin ; I am tired of it, won't you pray for me? '
They had prayer, and the poor wandering one was
led to the Saviour. She said : ' I'll never go back to
that place again. I'm going to the poor-master and
ask him to send me home.'
" The worker furnished the money to pay her fare
to her home in a neighboring city, and she went away
rejoicing. This was some time ago. One evening the
girl, accompanied by her father, paid a visit to the mis-
sion. She was happy in Christ, and had led eleven
souls to him, her father and mother being among the
number. Her father was full of praise and thanksgiv-
ing to God for what he had done for his erring child,
and tears ran down his cheeks as he thanked the singer
for the song, and for the help she had been to his
daughter. Her desire is to work among the fallen
ones from among whom she was rescued."
Not Half has ever been Told
Words by the Rev. J. B. Atchinson Music by O. F. Presbrey
"I have read of a beautiful city.
Far away in the kingdom of God."
"A young skeptic in Ohio," writes Dr. O. F.
Presbrey, *' was wasting away with consumption. His
family were greatly distressed, for nothing seemed to
awaken in him an interest regarding his soul. One
day, as he lay on the sofa, his sister, sitting at the organ,
sang, * Not half has ever been told.' He seemed much
affected and said, * Oh, sister, sing that hymn again, I
never had anything touch my heart like that before.'
The hymn was sung again, and day by day he listened
232 Sankey's Story
to it. Within two months his spirit took its flight,
singing as it went,
'Not half of that city's bright glory,
To mortals has ever been told.' "
A clergyman had a son who was sent up into the
north woods of Canada in search of health. After a
few weeks his father was summoned, and found him in
a dying condition. On the evening before his death
they sang together " Not half has ever been told." The
father says that he can never forget the joy and peace
which filled the soul of his dying boy as they sang of
that beautiful city of which he was so soon to be an
Not Now, My Child
Words by Mrs. Pennefather Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Not now, my child, — a little more rough tossing,
A little longer on the billows' foam."
Mrs. Pennefather, the author of this hymn, was
the wife of one of the ministers who invited Mr. Moody
and me to England in 1873. She was one of the found-
ers of the Mildmay Conference, in the north of Lon-
don, and also organized the famous Deaconess Society,
composed of many ladies of distinction who therein
seek a field for religious efifort. I arranged her hymn
to music, and often used to sing it as a solo.
A young lady of a titled family, walking one day
along the Strand, saw crowds pushing into the large
building where we were holding meetings. Following
the crowd, she soon found herself seated and listening
Of the Gospel Hymns 233
to a stirring sermon by Mr. Moody. I also sang this
hymn as a solo. The whole service much impressed
the young lady. At the conclusion of the meeting,
when Mr. Moody invited all who desired to become
Christians to rise, she stood up with hundreds of
others, and later went into the inquiry-room and there
gave her heart to God. When she went home she an-
nounced to her family that she had become a Chris-
tian, and they laughed her to scorn. After a few weeks
she decided to leave her home and cast in her lot with
those who were living for Christ. She went to Mrs.
Pennefather, and put on the dress of a deaconess.
There she continued for over a year. One day, more
than a year later, she received a letter from her father,
a Lord of the realm, asking her to accompany him on
his yachting trip to the north of Scotland. While on
the trip she was successful in leading her father to the
Saviour. Landing in Scotland, they found some
friends from London in a little fishing village. On Sun-
day the question arose as to where they would attend
service. They finally agreed to go to a neighboring
village where a visiting clergyman was to give an ad-
dress. The young lady and her father were greatly
impressed with the sermon. The next day when they
returned to the yacht, his Lordship remarked that he
would like to have that clergyman preach his funeral
sermon. On the return trip the old gentleman caught
a severe cold, and died soon afterward. The young
lady communicated her father's wish to the clergyman,
and he conducted the funeral services. The clergy-
man became interested in the young lady, and sought
her hand in marriaee. After their wedding they moved
234 Sankeys Sto7y
to Scotland, residing on a large estate to which the
clergyman had fallen heir. When Mr. Moody and I
were carrying on the campaign in Scotland we were
invited to visit their castle. During our visit there we
held meetings in the neighborhood for the miners. At
the suggestion of our host we used to go into the forest
and cut down trees for exercise. Before leaving the
estate each of us planted a tree near the castle gate,
and the clergyman named one of them " Moody," and
the other " Sankey."
Nothing but Leaves
Words by L. E. Akerman Music by Silas J. Vail
"Nothing but leaves! The Spirit grieves
O'er years of wasted life."
Mrs. Lucy Evelina Akerman, the author of this
hymn, died in Providence, Rhode Island, 1874, at the
age of twenty-four.
The hymn was a special favorite at the early
Moody and Sankey meetings. I often sang it as a solo
for Mr. Moody's lecture on " The Holy Spirit." While
singing it in Birmingham a lady was convinced, as she
wrote me afterwards, that her life had been nothing
but leaves ; and she then decided to devote the rest
of her life to rescuing her lost sisters. She secured a
building, which she called '' The Rescue Home," and
for years she gathered in poor, wretched girls from
the streets of the city, gave them employment, and
taught them the way of life. Through her efforts hun-
dreds of girls were saved. After her death the city
officials took up her work, employing other women,
Of the Gospel Hymns 237
who are still engaged in seeking the lost ones. On my
last visit to England I had the pleasure of visiting this
rescue home and singing for the inmates.
"During the mission in 1884/' writes M. C.
Boardman, of Stratford, East London, " the hymn
* Nothing but leaves ' was- often sung. It brought con-
viction to one of the stewards. He said that this song
disturbed him. For years he had been a professor of
religion, but with personal interest in view. He said
he trusted that henceforth there would be fruit as well
as leaves in his life. From that time he has been an
ardent Christian worker."
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Words by Charles Wesley Music by Oliver Holden
"O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise."
When Charles Wesley consulted Peter Bohler as
to the propriety of praising God, he replied, " Had I a
thousand tongues, I would praise him with all " — an
expression that is believed to have inspired the opening
line of this hymn which Wesley wrote, in 1739, to com-
memorate the first anniversary of his new birthday, the
day of his conversion. When John Wesley made his
collection of hymns for the use of the Methodists, he
selected this one to stand as the first hymn in the book.
To this day it remains in that place of honor, and as
the Rev. S. W. Duffield says, it " well deserves the
238 Sankeys Story
Oh, to be Nothing
Words by Georgiana M. Taylor Music by R. G. Halls. Arr. by P. P. Bliss
" Oh, to be nothing, nothing,
Only to lie at His feet."
Miss Taylor writes me : *' The idea for the hymn
came into my mind through reading the expression,
* Oh, to be nothing,' in a volume of an old magazine.
I think it occurred in an anecdote about an aged Chris-
tian worker. At all events the words haunted me ; I
mused on their meaning, and the hymn was the out-
Some one has misinterpreted the true meaning of
the hymn, and has written another entitled, ** Oh, to be
something." But it is not in accordance with the Mas-
ter, who made himself nothing ; nor is it in the spirit
of the text which says that he that abaseth himself shall
in due time be exalted.
This hymn was much used as a solo in our meet-
ings in Great Britain.
Oh, what are You Going to Do?
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by Philip Phillips
"Oh, what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?"
Away back in 1867 this hymn was written and
dedicated to the Young Men's Christian Associations
of America. For many years I used it both in Great
Britain and America. Many testimonies have been
given of the blessing it has brought to young men who
have heard it sung.
" I have a young men's Bible-class," writes a
Christian worker in Rotherham, England. " Some
Of the Gospel Hym7is 239
years ago one of my scholars brought a stranger to the
class, who had just come to our town on business. He
continued to attend very regularly for about a year.
Having obtained a better business appointment in a
distant town^ he told me before leaving the class that
when he first arrived he had fully made up his mind to
shake himself free from all religious influence; as he
had come to a strange town where no one knew him,
he would enjoy himself any way he chose. But he con-
sented to attend the class just once. The first hymn
sung was, * Oh, what are you going to do, brother?
Say, what are you going to do?' He could not get
it out of his head all the week, and it was the means
of entirely setting aside his intentions. On arriving
at his new home he immediately united with a Chris-
tian church. His steady, consistent life won for him
further promotion in business, and he now fills a posi-
tion of usefulness and responsibility in an important
town. All the good he had received he attributed to
that hymn on the first Sunday of his residence here."
On Jordan's Stormy Banks
Words by the Rev. Samuel Stennett Music by T. C. O'Kane
" On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye."
While visiting the Holy Land I sang this hymn
on the banks of the Jordan, opposite Mount Horeb,
where God showed Moses the promised land of Ca-
naan. As the banks of the Jordan are not stormy, the
word " rugged " has by many been substituted for
*' stormy " in the first line.
240 Sankefs Story
Of the many hymns written by Dr. Stennett, this
is one of the most famous. The author was born at
Exeter, England. His father was the pastor of the
Baptist Church, in Little Wild Street, London. With
this church young Sennett united. He became his
father's assistant, and later his successor, continuing
in that pastorate until his death, in 1795, at the age
of sixty-eight. He was noted as the friend of King
George HL The hymn was first published in Rippon's
" Selections," in 1787.
One more Day's Work for Jesus
Words by Miss Anna Warner Music by the Rev. Robert Lowry
" One more day's work for Jesu";
One less of life for me."
One day, while the children in a Mission Chapel
were singing " One more day's work for Jesus," a
woman passing by stopped outside to listen. She
went home with these words fixed in her mind. The
next day, as she was bending over the washtub, the
words of the hymn came to her again and aroused the
question, " Have I ever done one day's work for Jesus
in all my life ? " That marked the turning point.
There and then she began to work for Christ. She
washed the clothes for Jesus, cleaned the house for
Jesus, administered the needs of her family for Jesus.
A new light came into her life ; and at the close of
that day she could sing with a different feeling and a
new enthusiasm :
"One more day's work for Jesus;
How sweet the work has been."
Of the Gospel Hy^nns 241
One Sweetly Solemn Thought
Words by Phoebe Cary Music by Philip Phillips
"One sweetly solemn thought
Comes to me o'er and o'er."
A gentleman traveling in China found at Macao a
company of gamblers in a back room on the upper floor
of a hotel. At the table nearest him was an American,
about twenty years old, playing with an old man. While
the gray-haired man was shuffling the cards, the young
man, in a careless way, sang a verse of '' One sweetly
solemn thought," to a ver^- pathetic tune. Several
gamblers looked up in surprise on hearing the singing.
The old man, who was dealing the cards, gazed stead-
fastly at his partner in the game, and then threw the
pack of cards under the table.
" Where did you learn that song? " he asked. The
young man pretended that he did not know that he had
been singing. " Well, no matter," said the old man,
" I have played my last game, and that's the end of it.
The cards may lie there till doomsday, and Til never
pick them up." Having won a hundred dollars from
the young man, he took the money from his pocket and,
handing it over to the latter, said : " Here, Harry, is
your money ; take it and do good with it ; I shall with
The traveler followed them downstairs, and at the
door heard the old man still talking about the song
which the young man had sung. Long afterward a
gentleman in Boston received a letter from the old
man, in which he declared that he had become a '* hard-
working Christian," and that his young friend also
had renounced gambling and kindred vices.
242 Sa7t key's Story
This hymn was composed in a little third-story
bedroom one Sunday morning in 1852, after the author
had come from church. Miss Carey was then twenty-
eight. She died in Newport, Rhode Island, nineteen
Only a Step to Jesus
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"Only a step to Jesus!
Then why not take it now?"
The editor of a religious periodical in the South
sends me the following incident, which occurred while
he was holding meetings in a small town : '' One night
a prominent man of the county, not a Christian, was
in town. Having heard of the fine singing, he went
to the meeting for a few minutes to listen to a song or
two. He heard only one song and then went away;
but that song went with him. It was, * Only a step to
Jesus ! Then why not take it now ? ' The words
stayed with him, and were repeated over and over.
They came back to him the next day, and awakened
inquiry regarding himself which at last led him into
repentance and a happy conversion. Many people
wept as he related his experience before the church.'*
Only Trust Him
Words by J. H. S. Music by J. H. Stockton
" Come, every soul by sin oppressed
There's mercy with the Lord."
While on the way to England with Mr. Moody
in 1873, one day in mid-ocean, as I was looking over a
list of hymns in my scrap-book, I noticed one com-
Of the Gospel Hymns 243
mencing, " Come every soul by sin oppressed," written
by the Rev. John Stockton, with the familiar chorus,
" Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus just now."
Believing that these words had been so often sung
that they were hackneyed, I decided to change
them and tell how to come to Jesus by substituting the
words, " Only trust him." In this form it was first pub-
lished in " Sacred Songs and Solos " in London. While
holding meetings in Her Majesty's Theater in Pall
Mall, London, and singing this hymn, I thought I
would change the chorus again, and asked the people
" I will trust Him,
I will trust Him,
I will trust Him just now."
Then as we sang I decided to change it once more,
and asked them to sing, "I do trust him." God
blessed this rendering of the hymn to eight persons
present, who testified afterward that by the change
they were led to accept salvation.
" I am much interested in sacred songs," writes a
missionary in England, ''because it was the first verse
of * Only trust Him ' that opened the door of my heart
to let the Master into my soul in all his fulness. I
was in the army, and found my way to the Woolwich
Soldiers' Home, where I heard the Gospel ; and for a
fortnight I was groping in the dark for peace, when
one evening I heard the singing of 'Only trusf Him,'
244 Sankey's Story
which brought light into my soul. I have ever since
been happy, serving Him with my whole heart. I
am now a missionary to my comrades."
Onward, Christian Soldiers
Words by S. Baring-Gould Music by A. S. Sullivan
"Onward, Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war."
Written for a special occasion, the author was
totally unprepared for the subsequent popularity of
this hymn. In 1895 he said regarding its composi-
tion : " Whit-Monday is a great day for school festivals
in Yorkshire. One Whit-Monday, thirty years ago, it
was arranged that our school should join forces with
that of a neighboring village. I wanted the children
to sing when marching from one village to another, but
couldn't think of anything quite suitable ; so I sat up
at night, resolved that I would write something myself.
' Onward, Christian soldiers ' was the result. It was
written in great haste, and I am afraid some of the
rhymes are faulty. Certainly nothing has surprised
me more than its popularity. I don't remember how
it got printed first, but I know that very soon it found
its way into several collections. I have written a few
other hymns since then, but only two or three have
become at all well-known." The tune to which it is
now sung is the one by which Sir Arthur Sullivan is
likely to be known longest to posterity.
Mr. Moody would not give out this hymn in con-
nection with his meetings, as he thought it contained
SIR. ARTHUR SULLIVAN
Of the Gospel Hymns 247
too much vain boasting. He would exclaim : "We are
a nice lot of soldiers I "
Out of the Shadow-land
Words by Ira D. Sankey Music by Ira D. Sankey
" Out of the shadow-land, into the sunshine,
Cloudless, eternal, that fades not away."
I wrote this hymn especially for the memorial
service held for Mr. Moody in Carnegie Hall, where I
also sang it as a solo. It was the last sacred song to
which I wrote both the words and music. It has been
largely adopted in England as a funeral hymn. As it
does not appear in " Gospel Hymns " the words as
they are found in " Sacred Songs and Solos " are here
given in full.
OUT OF THE SHADOW-LAND
Out of the shadow-land, into the sunshine,
Cloudless, eternal, that fades not away;
Softly and tenderly Jesus will call us;
Home, where the ransom'd are gath'ring to-day.
Silently, peacefully, angels will bear us
Into the beautiful mansions above;
There shall we rest from earth's toiling forever,
Safe in the arms of God's infinite love.
Out of the shadow-land, weary and changeful,
Out of the valley of sorrow and night.
Into the rest of the life everlasting,
Into the summer of endless delight.
Out of the shadow-land, over life's ocean,
Into the rapture and joy of the Lord,
Safe in the Father's house, welcomed by angels,
Ours the bright crown and eternal reward.
248 Sankeys Story
Over the Line
Words by Ellen K. Bradford Music by E. H. Phelps
"Oh, tender and sweet was the Master's voice
As He lovingly called to me."
We were holding meetings in Springfield, Massa-
chusetts, in 1878. One day, at the noon meeting in
City Hall, a minister rose on the platform and bore
testimony to the way the Lord had blessed one of his
sons, a Yale student. ** My son," he said, "happened
to be seated beside a gentleman from England in one
of Mr. Moody's meetings. Tarrying for the after-
meeting, he was spoken to by the gentleman beside
him about becoming a Christian, After half an hour
spent in talking they went out into the street, and the
gentleman said that he would gladly walk home with
my son if he had no objection, as he had nothing else
to do. They came at last to the gate which led to my
home. Before parting, the earnest Christian worker
said he would like to offer one more prayer for my
boy. Holding the young man's hand, he asked that
the Lord would enable him to decide the great question
that very night. With this prayer they separated.
The gentleman left town the next day, and may never
know how God heard and answered his prayer.
" My son was greatly impressed. Approaching
the house, he stopped suddenly, made a deep line across
the graveled walk with his cane, and said : ' Now, I
must decide this question, for or against Christ, to-
night. If I cross the line my life shall be for him ; but
if I go around it, it will be for the world.' Standing
there considering the great question with himself for
Of the Gospel Hymns 249
a half hour, at last he cried : * O God, help me to decide
aright ! ' Then he went bounding over the line, and
came into my room and said : ' Father, I wish you
would pray for me ! I have decided to be a Chris-
tian/ " The minister said that his heart went out in
supplication to God to keep and bless his boy.
This story affected the audience to tears. One of
the newspapermen, Mr. E. H. Phelps, proprietor of
one of the leading papers of the city, took down the
father's story and published it the next morning. And
Mrs. Bradford, of Palmer, in the same state, after
reading the incident in the paper, sat down and wrote
" Over the Line." She sent the hymn to the editor of
the paper, Mr. Phelps, and he at once set it to music.
Three days later he handed the song to me. I adapted
it and had it published in "Gospel Hymns." It has
been blessed to thousands of souls all over the world,
leading to the conversion of very many.
" While I was holding a series of revival meetings
at Brigham, Utah," relates an Iowa clergyman, '' a man
was brought to a full surrender of himself to Christ by
the singing of the hymn, * Over the Line.' The first
two or three meetings made him very angry, and he
determined not to go any more ; but as the services
increased in interest his anxiety and troubled mind
induced him to return, yet only as an observer. He
remained in the lecture-room, which opened into the
audience-room. Here he was noticed walking the floor,
as if in bodily pain. But when at the close of the meet-
ing we sang this hymn, he advanced toward the pulpit,
made a long step as though stepping over some object,
250 Sankey's Story
reached out his hand and said in a loud, determined
voice : ' I have stepped over the Une.' This dramatic
surrender to Christ and public profession had a power-
ful effect upon the audience, and many more followed
A missionary sends me the following incident : " I
was holding a gospel meeting one Sunday in a
Woman's Christian Temperance Union mission. We
w^ere on our bended knees when the Spirit said to me,
sing, ' Over the Line.' When we arose I turned to the
lady at the organ, who had a consecrated voice, and
said, sing ' Over the Line.' At the close a man rose
and spoke as follows : ' I came away from home and
family and work two weeks ago in a drunken spree.
Since I came to your city I have often heard of this
mission, and was asked to come, but with oaths I re-
fused up to an hour ago, and then I entered this room.
The same spirit of unbelief possessed me until this lady
began to sing. Those words went to my heart; they
were all written for me, and as she sang the last verse
I crossed the line, I gave myself, and ' — with a deep
sob—' He took me.' "
Pass Me Not
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"Pass me not, O gentle Saviour,
Hear my humble cry."
An earnest Christian pastor told of a young man
about whom he had long felt much anxiety, as he had
seemed so unconcerned about his soul, and was, in
reality, a real cause of disturbance and interruption in
the classes for other young men.
Of the Gospel Hymns 251
Meeting him one day, the loving pastor sought
once more to influence him, urging, " We want you
for Christ and his service." There was a certain
change in his manner which did not escape the eye of
the prayerful watcher for souls, and — lacking time to
do more — he seized the opportunity to secure the pres-
ence of his young friend at a Christian Endeavor meet-
ing soon to be held. True to his promise he was there.
When an opportunity was given for some of the young
men to choose a song, it was seen that he was urging
his companion to select some particular hymn. The
lOther, yielding to his request, asked if the hymn, " Pass
me not, O gentle Saviour," might be sung; and both
young men joined in the singing with evident interest
and heartiness. Later in the evening it was requested
that all who were definitely on the Lord's side would
confess their allegiance by standing. Whereupon the
one over whom the heart of the pastor was specially
yearning rose at once, and with decision.
" Tell me about your conversion," the thankful
pastor requested at the close of the meeting, when
hands were clasped in glad, brotherly welcome and
" Oh, yes," assented the other. *' It was all
through that hymn we have just sung. I was working
on the canal at G — , and there was a meeting being
held at the Mariner's Chapel, near by. The words
floated out over the water, and from the tug where I
was working I could hear them plainly enough. When
they were just going to sing those lines —
'While on others Thou are calling,
Do not pass me by!'
252 Sankey's Story
a great fear came over me, and I thought, * Oh, if the
Lord were to pass me by, how terrible it would be ! *
Then and there, on the tug, I cried out : * O Lord, do
not pass me by.' And " — with a bright smile — '' he
didn't pass me by. I am saved."
No hymn in our collection was more popular than
this at our meetings in London in 1874. It was sung
almost every day in Her Majesty's Theater, in Pall
Mall, and has been translated into several languages.
At one of our noonday prayer-meetings in Glas-
gow a prominent gentleman was awakened by the sing-
ing of this hymn. He had been very much opposed to
our meetings, and his opposition was not lessened
when he saw his wife converted. That day he had
agreed to attend the meeting for the last time, as a
sort of concession; and that was the day when the
Spirit of God touched him by this hymn.
Peace ! Be Still !
Words by Miss M. A. Baker Music by H. R. Palmer
"Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!"
When a deep and comforting spiritual experience
finds expression it will surely bring comfort to others,
as this hymn has done many times. Miss Mary A.
Baker has told of its origin :
" Dr. Palmer requested me to prepare several
songs on the subject of the current Sunday-school les-
sons. One of the themes was ' Christ Stilling the Tem-
FANNY J. CROSBY
Of the Gospel Hymns 255
pest/ It so expressed an experience I had recently
passed through, that this hymn was the result. A very
dear and only brother, a young man of rare loveliness
and promise of character, had been laid in the grave, a
victim of the same disease that had already taken father
and mother. His death occurred under peculiarly dis-
tressing circumstances. He was more than a thousand
miles away from home, seeking in the balmy air of the
sunny South the healing that our colder climate could
not give. Suddenly he grew worse. The writer was
ill and could not go to him. For two weeks the long
lines of telegraph wires carried back and forth mes-
sages between the dying brother and his waiting sisters,
ere the word came which told us that our beloved
brother was no longer a dweller on the earth. Al-
though we mourned not as those without hope, and al-
though I had believed on Christ in early childhood and
had always desired to give the Master a consecrated
and obedient life, I became wickedly rebellious at this
dispensation of divine providence. I said in my heart
that God did not care for me or mine. But the Master's
own voice stilled the tempest in my unsanctified heart,
and brought it to the calm of a deeper faith and a more
perfect trust. Since then I have given much of my
time and strength to active temperance work as a mem-
ber of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Wit-
nessing the unparalleled suffering that comes to sisters,
wives and mothers through the legalized curse of our
land, the rum traffic, which is yearly slaying its thou-
sands and tens of thousands in their early manhood
and hurrying them into dishonored graves, I have
come to feel a keen sense of gratitude for the sweet
256 ' Sankeys Story
memories left of my departed brother. God's way is
" I supposed that the hymn had done its work
and gone to rest. But, during the weeks when our
nation kept watch by the bedside of our greatly be-
loved President Garfield, it was republished as espe-
cially appropriate to the time, and was sung at some of
the many funeral services held throughout the United
States. It is quite a surprise to me that this humble
hymn should have crossed the seas and been sung in
far distant lands to the honor of the Saviour's name."
Pull for the Shore
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"Light in the darkness, sailor, day is at hand!
See o'er the foaming billows fair Haven's land."
One one occasion the vessel on which Mr. Moody
was returning from Europe, accompanied by his oldest
son, was disabled by the breaking of a propelling shaft.
Mrs. Moody was at my home in Brooklyn, waiting to
receive them on their arrival. Day after day passed
without word from the steamer, and Mrs. Moody be-
came almost frantic with anxiety. At last I received
this cable dispatch from Mr. Moody : " Saved, thank
God." I learned afterwards that the people gathered
around him and begged him to pray for their deliver-
ance. Several infidels on board, who had been mak-
ing light of Mr. Moody's work, were found kneeling
at his side, and through the earnestness of his prayers
and divine help they were led to Christ.
Of the Gospel Hymns 257
Rescue" the Perishing
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
" Rescue the perishing,
Care for the dying."
On a Stormy night a middle-aged man staggered
into the Bowery Mission. He was intoxicated, his
face unwashed and unshaven, and his clothes soiled
and torn. He sank into a seat, and, gazing around,
seemed to wonder what kind of a place he had come
into. '' Rescue the perishing " and other gospel hymns
were sung and seemed to interest him, and to recall
some memory of his youth long since forgotten. As
the leader of the meeting told the simple story of the
Gospel, and how the Lord had come to seek and save
sinners, the man listened eagerly. The leader in his
younger days had been a soldier and had seen hard
and active service. In the course of his remarks he
mentioned several incidents which had occurred in his
experience during the war, and he gave the name of
the company in which he served. At the close of the
meeting the man eagerly staggered up to the leader
and in a broken voice said :
" When were you in that company you spoke of? "
" Why, all through the war," said the leader.
" Do you remember the battle of ? "
" Do you remember the name of the captain of
your company at that time."
" Yes, his name was ."
" You are right ! I am that man. I was your
captain. Look at me to-day, and see what a wreck I
258 Smikey's Story
am. Can you save your old captain? I have lost
everything I had in the world through drink, and I
don't know where to go."
He was saved that night, and was soon helped by
some of his former friends to get back his old position.
He often told the story of how a soldier saved his cap-
tain, and how much he loved the words of " Rescue the
A man in Sussex, England, gives this testimony :
** I believe I can attribute my conversion, through the
grace of God, to one verse of that precious hymn,
* Rescue the perishing.' I was far away from my
Saviour, and living without a hope in Jesus. I was
very fond of singing hymns, and one day I came across
this beautiful piece, and when I had sung the words,
'Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more,'
I fell Upon my knees and gave my heart to the Lord
Jesus Christ. From that hour I have followed him
who, through this verse, touched my heart and made
it vibrate with his praises ever since."
Fanny Crosby returned, one day, from a visit to
a mission in one of the worst districts in New York
City, where she had heard about the needs of the lost
and perishing. Her sympathies were aroused to help
the lowly and neglected, and the cry of her heart went
forth in this hymn, which has become a battle-cry for
the great army of Christian workers throughout the
world. It has been used very extensively in temper-
Of the Gospel Hymns 259
ance work, and has been blessed to thousands of souls.
Mr. Moody was very fond of it, and has borne testi-
mony to its power to reach the hearts of wanderers.
It was also. a favorite of the two great temperance
workers, Frances E. Willard and Francis Murphy.
Rest for the Weary
Words by the Rev. S. Y. Harmer Music by the Rev. William McDonald
"In the Christian's home in glory,
There remains a land of rest;"
A fifteen-year-old girl, of good family, was pres-
ent at one of our meetings in the Free College Church
of Glasgow, in 1874, and at the close of the meeting
remained among the inquirers at the College Hall.
Here she was spoken to by a lady, and was led to
Christ. Going home, she told her mother that she
was now happy in the Lord. That very night she was
taken sick, symptoms of scarlet fever appearing. Prayer
was offered for her at the daily prayer-meetings. Per-
haps most of her friends thought that the Lord would
answer their supplications by restoring her to health ;
but he had a purpose of another kind. He meant to
take her away to himself, and to teach others by her
removal. When it was evident that she was dying
she told her father that she was going home to Christ.
Near the end, he tried to sing with her '^ In the Chris-
tian's home in glory." She caught up the words,
" There my Saviour's gone before me,
To fulfill my soul's request."
and faithfully repeated them. Her voice died away;
26o Sankeys Story
those were the last words she was heard to utter.
Before this she had sent a message of thanks to Mr.
Moody and myself, and to the lady who had led her
" Ah," said Mr. Moody, in telling of this, " would
not any one have regretted missing the opportunity of
helping this soul, who has sent back her thanks from
the very portals of glory ? "
Ring the Bells of Heaven
Words by William O. Gushing Music by George F. Root
"Ring the bells of heaven! there is joy to-day
For a soul, returning from the wild."
*' ' Ring the bells of heaven ' was written,'* says
the author, '' to fit a beautiful tune sent me by George
F. Root, entitled, ' The little Octoroon.' After receiv-
ing it, the melody ran in my head all day long, chiming
and flowing in its sweet musical cadence. I wished
greatly that I might secure the tune for work in the
Sunday-school and for other Christian purposes. When
I heard the bells of heaven ringing over some sinner
that had returned, it seemed like a glad day in heaven.
Then the words ' Ring the bells of heaven,' at once
flowed down into the waiting melody. It was a beau-
tiful and blessed experience, and the bells seem ringing
A little girl in England, who was much beloved
by her parents, was dying. She had been very fond
of our hymns and would often speak of how much
she loved them. A few days before she died she said
Of the Gospel Hymns 261
to her mother : '*' When I am gone, mother, will you
ask the girls of the school to sing that hymn,
'Ring the bells of heaven! There is joy to-day,
For a soul returning from the wild;
See! the Father meets him out upon the way,
Welcoming His weary, wandering child!
Glory! glory! how the angels sing!
Glory! glory! how the loud harps ring!' '*
Half an hour before her departure she exclaimed :
'* Oh, mother, listen to the bells of heaven ! they are
ringing so beautifully I "
Rock of Ages
Words by A. M. Toplady Music by Dr. Thomas Hastings
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me.
Let me hide myself in Thee."
In the year 1756 a young man of sixteen, while
visiting with his mother in Ireland, attended an evan-
gelistic meeting held in a barn at the little village of
Codymain. At this meeting the young man was con-
verted. He was none other than Augustus Montague
Toplady, who afterwards wrote this famous hymn.
Of his conversion the author says : " Strange that I,
who had so long sat under the means in England,
should be brought right unto God in an obscure part
of Ireland, midst a handful of people met together in
a barn, and by the ministry of one who could hardly
spell his own name. Surely it was the Lord's doing,
and is marvelous."
At the age of twenty-two Toplady received orders
in the Church of England. He was a strong Calvin-
262 Sankeys Story
ist, and the author of many popular hymns. He died
in 1778. " Rock of Ages " was first pubHshed in 1776,
in " The Gospel Magazine," of which he was the
editor. The hymn has been more or less altered and
rearranged several times since then, but the sentiment
remains the same.
It was to this hymn that the beloved Prince Con-
sort, Albert of England, turned, repeating it constantly
upon his deathbed. " For," said he, '' if in this hour
I had only my worldly honors and dignities to depend
upon, I should be poor indeed."
Mrs. L. S. Bainbridge, who, with her husband, vis-
ited China for the purpose of studying Christian mis-
sions, tells the following incident : '' The Chinese
women, it seems, are so anxious to * make merit ' for
themselves, that they will perform any labor to escape
the painful transmigrations of the next life. They
dread to be born again as dogs or cats, and the highest
hope possessed by them is to be reborn as men. In
order to secure this they do any and every meritorious
act. One woman had excavated with her poor, weak
hands a well twenty feet deep, and it was only after
this achievement that she learned of the free Gospel
of salvation. She was now a woman of eighty, and,
stretching out her aged and crippled fingers, we sang
* Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.' "
Years ago, when a ship sank in the Bay of Biscay,
a man who was saved was asked what the passengers
Of the Gospel Hymns 263
were doing when the ship went down. He said that
the last he heard was '' Rock of Ages," sung by all
who could join in it.
Several tunes have been written for this hymn,
the most popular one, however, being the tune by Dr.
Thomas Hastings, who was born at Washington, Con-
necticut, in 1784, and who died in New York in 1872.
He wrote many hymns and published several hymn-
books. I have in my possession a large number of
hymns set to music by Mr. Hastings which have never
Safe in the Arms of Jesus
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast."
Mr. Doane came into a room in New York, once,
where Fanny Crosby was talking with Mr. Bradbury,
the father of Sunday-school music, and said to her:
" Fanny, I have written a tune and I want you to write
words for it."
" Let me hear how the tune goes," she replied.
After Mr. Doane had played it over for her on a small
organ, she at once exclaimed : " Why, that tune says,
*' Safe in the arms of Jesus,' and I will see what I can
do about it."
She at once retired to an adjoining room, where
she spent half an hour alone. On returning she
quoted to Mr. Doane the words of this now immortal
264 San key s Story
hymn. It was first published in the book entitled
" Songs of Devotion."
A party of steerage passengers were gathered one
foggy day below decks on an Allan liner near the en-
trance of the Belle Isle Straits. They were cold and
cheerless and weary of the voyage, though only two
days out, and a lady had come down to talk and sing
to them. The subject was " Stepping over the line,"
and the song was '' Safe in the arms of Jesus." She
told the story of a young sailor, who was summoned to
his mother's death-bed. " Willie," said the mother,
looking up at him with tearful eyes, " sing to me once
more ' Safe in the arms of Jesus.' " *' Mother," he
replied, " I can't sing that song. It would be a lie ; I
am not safe, and I can't sing a lie." The speaker said
that she thanked God that the young sailor afterward
stepped over the line and was safe. After the story
was told and a hymn sung, a man suddenly left his
place among the listeners. The lady was troubled.
Had she offended him or was his conscience stricken ?
She watched for him day after day, but a storm suc-
ceeded the fog, and it was not until the last day of the
voyage that she saw him again. Then, while the vessel
was moored in Moville Harbor, and all was bustle on
deck, the tall Scotchman sought her, saying :
*' Oh, I am so glad that I have found you again !
I could not leave without thanking you for those
words you sang, * Safe in the arms of Jesus.' I felt
that I could not sing that hymn, as I was not safe. I
have been to church all my life, and have taken the
sacrament ; but I was not safe, and I could not sing it.
W. H. DOAKE
Of the Gospel Hymns 267
Then came the storm and I was miserable, for I
thought we might go to the bottom and I should be
" And what did you do then ? " asked the lady.
" Why, I remembered how you said that we might
trust the Lord Jesus to save us now — and I did trust
him right there in my berth. I stepped over the line,
and now I can praise him, for I am safe in. his arms,
and I wish to live to his glory.'*
Two little girls were playing in a corner of the
nursery with their dolls, and singing as they played,
*• Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on his gentle breast."
Their mother was writing, only stopping now and then
to listen to the little ones' talk, unobserved by them.
" Sister, how do you know that you are safe ? "
asked Nellie, the youngest.
" Because I am holding Jesus with both my hands
— tight ! " was the reply.
" Ah, that is not safe," said Nellie. " Suppose
Satan came along and cut your two hands off ! "
The sister looked much troubled for a few mo-
ments, dropped her doll and thought deeply. Sud-
denly her face shone with joy, and she cried out, " Oh !
I forgot! I forgot! Jesus is holding me with his two
hands, and Satan can't cut his hands off ; so I am safe !"
A party of friends, traveling in the Alps, com-
menced to sing the first verse of this hymn, when,
much to their surprise, they heard the second verse
taken up on another mountain peak, as a response ; and
268 Sankeys Story
though the two parties of tourists could not see each
other, they sang the alternate verses and passed on
A gentleman of London writes me as follows:
" My dear little girl Mary, aged six, greatly loved the
hymn, ' Safe in the arms of Jesus,' and, having learned
the tune, was continually singing it. One day, having
a longing, wistful look in her eyes after singing it, I
said to her : * What are you thinking of, darling ? ' She
answered : * I do want to go and be with Jesus.' I
asked her what I should do without her, she being my
only little girl. She sighed and said : ' Very well, then
I won't go just yet, though I should like to.' A few
weeks after this she was seized with scarlet fever of
a very malignant type. She was buried in six days.
The morning she was taken ill she said to her little
brother, who was ill in the same room : ' Look here,
Willie, I can find my own hymn myself now, '' Safe in
the arms of Jesus." ' She showed it to Willie, who
asked if they should sing it. ' No,' she said, * I can't
sing with my head this way.' She then became de-
lirious and never spoke rationally again. She soon
took her flight to the arms of Jesus, where she had so
longed to be."
At the close of one of our meetings in the Circus
in Glasgow a woman came to me when I was seated
with an inquirer. After waiting until I was at liberty,
she said : " Mr. Sankey, I want to tell you something
about my daughter Maggie. She was converted when
you were here eight years ago, but has now gone home
Of the Gospel Hymns 269
to heaven, and I want to tell you what she said when
she was dying. She asked me to get her little hymn-
book, and when I brought it she asked me to turn to
No. 25, saying, ' I want to sing it.' ' Why, my child,'
said I, ' you are not able to sing.' ' Yes,' she said, ' I
want to sing one more song before I go; will you
please turn to the twenty-fifth hymn, ''Safe in the arms
of Jesus." I found it for her and she began to sing
at these lines,
'Hark! 'tis the voice of angels,
Borne in a song to me,
Over the fields of glory.
Over the jasper sea.'
Her voice then seemed to fail her, and she said:
* Mother, lift me up.' I put my arms under her and
lifted my poor girl up, and then she raised her eyes
to heaven and said : ' Jesus, I am coming ; Jesus, I am
coming.' The doctor, who was standing by her side,
said : * How can you sing when you are so weak ? ' She
replied : * Jesus helps me to sing ; Jesus helps me to
sing.' And with those words upon her lips, she died
in my arms." The mother said that she took the little
hymn-book and laid it upon the girl's breast; it was
buried with her.
Once when laboring in London I went to Basel,
Switzerland, for a few days' rest. The evening I got
there I heard under my window the most beautiful
volume of song. I looked out and saw about fifty
people, w^ho were singing " Safe in the arms of Jesus,
safe on his gentle breast " in their own language, but
270 Sankeys Story
I recognized the tune. I spoke to them through an
interpreter. The next evening I held a song service
in an old French church in that city. The church was
packed with people, and many stood outside on the
Dr. John Hall, of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian
Church, in New York, said of this hymn, in a great
Sunday-school convention in Brooklyn, that it gave
more peace and satisfaction to mothers who had lost
their children than any other hymn he had ever known.
It has become very famous throughout the world, and
was one of the first American hymns to be translated
into foreign languages.
Fanny Crosby is one of the most celebrated of
hymn-writers, and has written more than five thousand
hymns, many of which have become very widely
known. She was born in 1820, and lost her eyesight
when six months old, through the ignorant application
of a hot poultice to her eyes. In 1835 she entered the
New York Institution for the Blind, where she was
graduated in 1842. She was a teacher at this insti-
tution from 1847 to 1858, when she was married to
Mr. Alexander Van Alstyne, who also was blind. Mrs.
Van Alstyne has written her hymns under her maiden
The Rev. Dr. George Duffield, just before his
death, said of her work : " I rather think her talent
will stand beside that of Watts and Wesley, especially
if we take into consideration the number of hymns
Of the Gospel Hymns ' 271
she has written." At her present age of eighty-five
she is still active, and she is always happy.
Saved by Grace
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by George C. Stebbins
"Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing."
In 1894 Mr. Moody and I were holding meetings
in England. It was decided between us that \lx.
Moody should remain in England while I returned to
America to assist Dr. A. J. Gordon, of Boston, in con-
ducting the Summer Conference in Northfield. I was
entertaining Fanny Crosby in my summer home there.
One evening I asked the popular hymn-writer if she
would make a short address to her many friends gath-
ered at the convention. She at first declined, but on
further persuasion she consented to speak for a few
moments. I led her forward to the desk on which lay
the Bible and, standing there, she spoke beautifully
for a short time. Closing her remarks, she recited a
hymn never before heard in public, entitled " Saved by
I afterward learned that my friend, L. H. Biglow
— after attending a prayer-meeting conducted by the
late Dr. Howard Crosby, where the subject was
" Grace " — had asked Fanny Crosby to write a hymn
on that subject. She im.mediately retired to an adjoin-
ing room, and in the course of an hour returned with
the words, ''Some day the silver cord will break, and
I no more as now shall sing." Mr. Biglow secured
the words from her, and put them in the safe among
other hymns which she had written ; but the song was
272 Sankey's Story
evidently forgotten until recited by its author at
A reporter of a London paper who was present
at Northfield took her address, and also the hymn,
which he carried back to England and published
in his paper, thus sending it around the world. Four
Dr five weeks later I found it in a copy of his paper.
Cutting it out, I handed it to George C. Stebbins, ask-
ing him to set it to music. During the following years
the song became one of Mr. Moody's favorites, and is
now sung by hundreds of thousands of people through-
out the world.
A newspaper of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, recently
gave this incident in startling headlines :
" The congregation of Christ Protestant Episco-
pal Church, Union Avenue, Allegheny, the Rev. Rob-
ert Meech, rector, was startled yesterday morning by a
sensational supplement to the morning service. The
church was well filled and devout worshipers responded
to the service as read by the rector. The reading had
been concluded, and the rector was about to make the
usual announcements of future services when an inci-
dent occurred such as old Christ Church had never
dreamed of. Out of the usual line in a church of this
denomination, it was nevertheless marked in its effect,
and will never be forgotten by those present.
" In the fourth pew from the front aisle of ' the
church sat a neatly-dressed woman of intellectual face,
apparently about thirty years of age. Her presence
as a stranger had been noticed by many, and her deep,
tearful interest in the service had been quietly com-
Of the Gospel Hymns 273
mented on by those who occupied the adjoining pews.
At the point mentioned she rose to her feet and, strug-
gling with emotion, began to speak. The startled con-
gregation was all attention, and she was allowed to
proceed. Rapidly and eloquently she told of her going
out from the church and of her return to it. In
graphic words she painted the hideousness of sin and
the joys of a pure life, and as she spoke men and
women gave way to their emotions and listened breath-
lessly to the end of the narration.
" I was christened in this church," she said, " and
attended Sunday-school in the basement when good
old Dr. Paige was rector. My mother was a devout
member here, and taught me the right way. . At the
age of fifteen I deserted my home and married an actor.
For a number of years I followed the profession, lead-
ing such a life as naturally accompanies it. In dra-
matic circles, in variety business, and in the circus, I
spent those godless years.
" About two years ago I was in the city of Chi-
cago. One afternoon I was on my way to Ferris
Wheel Park to spend the afternoon in revelry, when
I happened on the open-air meeting which the Epworth
League of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church was con-
ducting on North Park Street. I stopped through
curiosity, as I believed, to listen ; but I know now that
God arrested my footsteps there. They were singing
' Saved by Grace,' and the melody impressed me.
Recollections of my childhood days came trooping
into my soul, and I remembered that in all the years
of my absence my mother, until her death nine years
ago, had been praying for me.
274 Sankey's Story
" I was converted and, falling on my knees on the
curbstone, I asked the Father's pardon. Then and
there I received it, and I left the place with a peace
which has never forsaken me. I gave up my business
at once and have lived for his service ever since. I
have been but a few days in this city. Last night I
visited the Hope Mission, and the Lord told me I must
come here and testify what he had done for me. I
have not been in this building for many years, but it
seems only yesterday that I left it. I have been sit-
ting in the pew directly opposite the one once occupied
by my mother and myself, and I feel her presence to-
day. I could not resist the impulse to give this testi-
mony. The Lord sent me here."
The congregation was profoundly impressed. The
rector descended from the chancel and, approaching
the speaker, with tears in his eyes, bade her Godspeed.
The service went on. At its conclusion many mem-
bers of the congregation shook hands with the stranger
and told of their impressions. A stranger might have
imagined himself in a Methodist Episcopal church, so
intense was the feeling. The strange visitor departed
with a sense of duty done. All she said was : " I feel
that the Lord Jesus and mother have been here."
Saviour, More than Life
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"Saviour, more than life to me,
I am clinging, clinging close to Thee."
Tune preceded words in this instance. It was in
1875 that Mr. Doane sent the tune to Fanny Crosby,
and requested her to write a hymn entitled " Every
Of the Gospel Hymns 275
day and hour." Her response in the form of this hymn
gave the bUnd hymn-writer great comfort and filled
her heart with joy. She felt sure that God would
bless the hymn to many hearts. Her hope has been
most fully verified, for millions have been refreshed
and strengthened as they have sung it. At the sug-
gestion of Mr. D. W. McWilliams, who was superin-
tendent of Dr. Cuyler's Sunday-school for twenty-five
years, it was put into "Gospel Hymns."
Scatter Seeds of Kindness
Words by Mrs. Albert Smith Music by S. J. Vail
"Let US gather up the sunbeams.
Lying all around our path."
For many years this was the favorite hymn of
Francis Murphy, the great temperance lecturer, and
was the keynote of all his meetings. I had the pleas-
ure of attending many of his services in Chicago, and
have seen him move an audience to tears by his pa-
thetic rendering of this hymn. It is believed that thou-
sands of drinking men have been saved through its
I had the pleasure of meeting the author of this
hymn in Illinois in 1878, and was surprised to learn
that she herself was childless, — although very fond of
children, as shown in the tender expressions in the
latter portion of the hymn :
" How those little hands remind us,
As in snowy grace they lie,
Not to scatter thorns — but roses —
For our reaping by and by."
276 Sankey's Story
Shall We Meet ?
Words by Horace L. Hastings Music by Elihu S. Rice
"Shall we meet beyond the river,
Where the surges cease to roll?"
While secretary and chorister of the Baptist Sun-
day-school at Logansport, Mr. Rice composed the
music of this song and sent it to the Rev. Robert
Lowry, then editor of the musical department of the
" Young Reaper," a Sunday-school paper published in
Philadelphia. It was accepted and first published in
that periodical. Years passed before the composer
realized its popularity.
*' The first notice I received," he says, " of the
favorable reception of ^ Shall we meet ' by the musical
public was from Mr. Sankey, in a very kind letter writ-
ten in August, 1879, thirteen years after its first pub-
Hcation. While music has been written for those
words by a number of eminent musical composers, I
have the satisfaction of knowing that my music has
received the choice and approval of Mr. Hastings, the
author of the words."
Shall You ? Shall I ?
Words by James McGranahan Music by James McGranahan
"Some one will enter the pearly gate
By and by, by and by."
An active minister in the West in his boyhood
attended our meetings in Madison Square Garden, and
he says that his soul was thrilled by the singing there.
He writes to me, also, of this personal experience : " I
was passing through a town where I was known. At
Of the Gospel Hymns 277
the close of a service which I had attended the min-
ister asked me to sing a solo. Picking up * Gospel
Hymns/ I sang,
* Some one will enter the pearly gate —
By and by, by and by. . . .
Shall you? Shall I?'
" In the audience was a well-educated man, clearly
under the influence of liquor. He afterward said that
he forgot or failed to hear the very able sermon. But
he heard the song ; and for days after * Shall you ?
Shall I ? ' kept ringing in his ears, until he finally had
to give his heart to God. He is now a faithful min-
ister in the Methodist church."
Singing All the Time
Words by E. P. Hammond ' Music by George C. Stebbins
" I feel Hke singing all the time,
My tears are wiped away."
" One day in a children's meeting in Utica, New
York,*' the Rev. E. P. Hammond writes me, " while I
was explaining how Jesus loved us and gave himself
for us, I noticed a bright-looking girl bursting into
tears. She remained at the inquiry-meeting, and with
others was soon happy in the love of Christ. The next
day she handed me a letter of which this is a part : ' I
think I have found the dear Jesus, and I do not see
how I could have rejected him so long. I think I can
sing with the rest of those who have found him, Jesus
ismine. The first time I came to the meetings I cried,
but now I feel like singing all the time.' This prompted
me to write the hymn, but I had no thought of its ever
2/8 Sankey's Story
being sung, although it almost seemed as if I could
hear her singing :
* I feel like singing all the time,
My tears are wiped away.
For Jesus is a friend of mine,
I'll serve him every day.'
" Mr. Spurgeon was very fond of this hymn. At
the first meeting in his building one of his deacons said
to me, ' This Tabernacle will seat six thousand grown
people, but there are eight thousand crowded into it
to-day.' Three thousand could not get in on account
of the crowd. Every child had one of our hymn-books,
and all united in singing this hymn which they loved
so much. It has been sung in our meetings in nearly
every state in the Union, and translated into many lan-
guages. We sang it in our daily meetings in Jerusa-
lem, near where Christ was crucified, and away in
Alaska, two thousand miles north of San Francisco.
Thousands of children sang it in Norway and Sweden,
day after day.
" A little boy, who felt himself a great sinner in
not having loved Jesus, was led by God's spirit to
believe, and his burden was gone. Bright smiles took
the place of tears, and with the happy throng he was
soon joining in the song, ' I feel like singing all the
time.* Little did I then think that years afterward I
would find that same boy the pastor of a large church
in Minneapolis, rejoicing that so many of his own
Sunday-school were able to join in the same hymn
which he sang when his heart was filled with a new-
found love for Christ. It was largely through his in-
fluence that during one week of our meetings in Min-
Of the Gospel Hymns 279
neapolis, last spring, about seven hundred confessed
conversion. I received in one day at Newark, New
Jersey, more than two hundred letters from those who
had just professed to have found Christ in our meet-
ings. Many of those young converts, in giving what
they believed to be the story of their conversion, often
put in the words, * Now I feel like singing all the
Something for Jesus
Words by S. D. Phelps Music by Robert Lowry
"Saviour! Thy dying love
Thou gavest me."
Professor W. F. Sherwin was holding a Sunday-
school institute in Maine on one occasion. This hymn
was used in the exercises, and a young lawyer was so
much affected by the singing of the third verse that
it was the means of changing all his plans for life. He
consecrated himself to Christ's service, and thereafter
devoted himself with his whole heart to evangelistic
*' A large family joined my church lately," says a
minister in Glasgow. " The mother told me that, while
a stranger in the city, she had happened to drop into
our chapel, when she was quite overcome. Her heart
was lifted up as the people sang, * Saviour ! Thy dying
Now famous in many lands, this hymn was first
published more than forty years ago in the " Watch-
28o Sankeys Story
man and Reflector," and from there it was copied by
various other religious papers. Dr. Robert Lowry re-
quested the author, the Rev. Mr. Phelps, to furnish
some hymns for the hymn-book, " Pure Gold," which
he and W. H. Doane were preparing, and among others
which Mr. Phelps contributed was " Saviour ! Thy
dying love." Dr. Lowry composed for it the tune with
which it will always be associated. On the author's
seventieth birthday — nine years before his death in
1895 — Mr. Phelps received this congratulation from
" It is worth living seventy years, even if nothing
comes of it but one such hymn as ' Saviour ! Thy dying
love.* Happy is the man who can produce one song
which the world will keep on singing after its author
shall have passed away."
Sometime We'll Understand
Words by Maxwell N. Cornelius, D D. Music by James McGranahan
"Not now, but in the coming years,
It may be in the better land."
Mr. Cornelius was brought up on a farm in my
own county in Pennsylvania. He left farming when
he came of age, and learned the trade of a brick-mason.
Later he became a contractor in Pittsburg. In erecting
a house in that city his leg was broken. The physi-
cians decided that it would have to be amputated, and
they gave him a week in which to get ready for the
crdeal. My own physician was sent for to assist at
the operation. When the day arrived the young man
said that he was ready, but asked for his violin, that
he might play one more tune — perhaps the last one he
Of the Gospel Hymns 281
would ever play. Whatever the tune was, the melody
was so sweet that it caused even the physicians to
weep. He stood the operation well and came out
safely, but was maimed for life. He now decided to
go to college and get an education. After passing
through college with honor he concluded to become a
minister of the gospel. His first charge was at Al-
toona, Pennsylvania, but on account of his wife's health
he soon removed to California, locating at Pasa-
dena, where he built the largest Presbyterian church
in that place. Many who had subscribed to help to
pay for the building failed in business, and he was
left to meet the obligations as best he could. But in
a few years he had the church cleared from all debt.
Shortly afterward his wife died. He preached the
funeral sermon himself. At the conclusion he quoted
the words of this hymn, which he had composed
shortly before. Both the words of the hymn and the
sermon were printed in a Western newspaper, where
Major W^hittle found them. Impressed by their
beauty, he cut them out and carried them in his Bible
for three months before he wrote the chorus :
"Then trust in God through all thy days;
Fear not! for He doth hold thy hand;
Though dark thy way, still sing and praise;
Sometime, sometime we'll understand."
Soon after he handed the words to his friend,
James McGranahan, who composed the tune to which
the hymn is now sung.
While Mr. Moody and I were holding meetings in
the great Convention Hall in Washington, in 1894, one
282 Sankeys Story
evening he requested me to go to an overflow meeting
in the Second Presbyterian Church. I sang " Some-
time We'll Understand " as a solo, and I told how
Major Whittle had found it. At the conclusion of the
meeting a lady came forward to the platform, and said
** That hymn was written by my pastor ;" and for the
first time I learned who had written the beautiful words
of the hymn I loved so much. A year or two later I
sang this hymn in the Church of the Covenant in
Washington. The late Secretary of State, John Hay,
was present. He was much moved by the song, and
at the conclusion of the service came forward and
thanked me. While we were talking a young lady
with her husband came up to me and said that she was
the daughter of Dr. Cornelius, the author of the hymn,
and hoped that God would continually bless my singing
of the song.
At one of our crowded meetings in the Free As-
sembly Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland, Mr. Moody called
to the platform Lord Overtoun, who changed the meet-
ing into a memorial service for the Prince of Wales*
eldest son, the Duke of Clarence, who had recently
died in England. After a number of addresses had
been made by ministers and others. Lord Overtoun
asked a member of my choir. Miss Jane Darling, if she
had any song suitable to the occasion. I had gone to
Dunfirmline to commence meetings there. Miss Dar-
ling took her seat at my little organ and sung in the
most touching and pathetic manner the hymn, " Some-
time We'll Understand." At the conclusion of the
meeting Lord Overtoun sent a dispatch to the Princess
of Wales, including in the message three of the verses
Of the Gospel Hymns 283
of the hymn. The same evening he received a dispatch
from the Princess, thanking him for the verses. A
few days later Miss Darling had the hymn beautifully
engrossed upon parchment and forwarded it to the
Stand Up for Jesus
Words by George Duffield Music by G. J. Webb
"Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
Ye soldiers of the cross."
In the '' Great Work of God " of 1858, in Phila-
delphia, the Rev. Dudley Tyng was the recognized
leader. While standing by a piece of farm machinery
on his place, the sleeve of his coat became entangled
in the gearing. His arm was drawn into the machin-
ery and torn off, and he died soon after. In the prime
of his Hfe he was taken away from the direction of that
great revival movement. But his dying message to his
associates in the work, " Stand up for Jesus,'* suppHed
the theme for this hymn. It was written by the Rev.
George Dufifield, and was read at the close of a sermon
which he delivered on the Sunday following the death
of his friend. Set to the tune composed by Mr. Webb,
this hymn has become famous and useful.
Words by Mrs. A. R. Cousin Music by Ira D. Sankey
"O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head!
Our load was laid on Thee." .
Written in Melrose, Scotland, by the author of
the immortal poem, " Immanuel's Land," this hymn
was sent to me by a minister in Dublin ; and in the let-
284 Saukeys Story
ter conveying the verses he remarked : " It is said of
you that you sing the Gospel, and I am sure that if
you will sing the enclosed there will be no question
as to the truth of that assertion." I then wrote the
music and sang it in one of Mr. Moody's meetings,
where it was blessed to the saving of two persons the
first time it was sung, according to their own testimony.
A young officer in the British army turned away
in horror from the doctrine of this hymn. His pride
revolted, his self-righteousness rose in rebellion, and
he said : " He would be a coward indeed who would
go to heaven at the cost of another ! '' As the years
rolled away this man rose to distinction and high rank
in the army, and he also learned wisdom. In his last
hours, as he lay on his deathbed, he repeatedly begged
those near him to sing " O Christ, what burdens
bowed Thy head ;" calling it, *' My hymn, my hymn ! "
A gunner of the royal artillery was attending the
Old Soldiers' Home in Woolwich during the spring of
1886. The chief attraction to him at first was the
night-school. From this he was eventually led to join
the Bible-class and attend the Sunday evening service
in the Hall. Seeing that he looked very unhappy and
that he lingered after the meeting, one night, a worker
asked him if anything was troubling him. The tears
came to his eyes at once, and he said : " I want to be a
Christian, but I am afraid that I am too bad." He then
told how on the previous Sunday evening, when this
hymn was sung, he was so overpowered by the
thought of what the Lord had endured for our sins
Of the Gospel Hymns 285
that after the first verse he could not sing. The solemn
words were fixed in his memory, and had troubled him
all the week, until he came to the great Burden-bearer.
Words by S. Fillmore Bennett Music by Joseph P. Webster
"There's a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar."
Mr. Bennett, the author of this world-famed hymn,
has this to say about its origin :
** In 1861 I became a resident of the village of
Elkhorn, Wisconsin, the home of the composer, J. P.
Webster; and shortly after became associated with
him in the production of sheet music (songs) and other
musical works. In the summer or fall of the year
1867 we commenced work on ' The Signet Ring.' One
of the songs written for that book was ' Sweet By-
and-By." Mr. Webster, like many musicians, was of
an exceedingly nervous and sensitive nature, and sub-
ject to periods of depression, in which he looked upon
the dark side of all things in life. I had learned his
peculiarities so well that on meeting him I could tell
at a glance if he was in one of his melancholy moods,
and I found that I could rouse him from them by giv-
ing him a new song or hymn to work on. On such an
occasion he came into my place of business, walked
down to the stove, and turned his back to me without
speaking. I was at my desk writing. Presently I
" * Webster, what ^^ the matter now ? '
*' ' It is no matter,' he replied ; ' it will be all right
by and by ! '
286 Sankey's Story
" The idea of the hymn came to me like a flash of
sunlight, and I replied : ' The sweet by and by ! Would
that not make a good hymn ? '
'' * Maybe it would,' said he indifferently.
" Turning to the desk I penned the three verses
and the chorus as fast as I could write. In the mean-
time two friends, Mr. N. H. Carswell and Mr. S. E.
Bright, had come in. I handed the hymn to Mr. Web-
ster. As he read it his eye kindled, and his whole de-
meanor changed. Stepping to the desk, he began
writing the notes in a moment. Presently he re-
quested Mr. Bright to hand him his violin, and then
he played the melody. In a few moments more he
had the notes for the four parts of the chorus jotted
down. I think it was not over thirty minutes from
the time I took my pen to write the words before the
two gentlemen, Mr. Webster and I were singing the
hymn in the same form in which it afterward appeared
in 'The Signet Ring.' While singing it Mr. R. R.
Crosby came in. After listening awhile, with tears in
his eyes, he uttered the prediction : ' That hymn is
immortal.' I think it was used in public shortly after,
for within two weeks children on the streets were sing-
" Next year the publishers of * The Signet Ring *
heralded its advent by distributing a large number of
circulars upon which selections from the work were
printed, among them * Sweet By-and-By.' These cir-
culars first brought the hymn to the notice of the pub-
lic, and created the principal demand for the book.
Toward the close of that year the hymn was published
in sheet-music form. It is now in numerous collec-
Of the Gospel Hymns 287
tions of vocal music in America, and, as a newspaper
account says, ' It is translated into various foreign
languages and sung in every land under the sun/
'' Webster, Crosby and Carswell are dead. S. E.
Bright, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, and myself are
the only remaining living witnesses to the birth of
* Sweet By-and-By.' '*
Sweet Peace, the Gift of God's Love
Words by Peter P. Bilhorn Music by Peter P. Bilhom
"There comes to my heart one sweet strain,
A glad and a joyous refrain."
The author of this well-known and popular hymn,
a gifted evangelist and Gospel singer, was born in
Mendota, Illinois, in 1861. His father was killed near
the close of the war, and at eight years of age he had
to leave school to help his mother. Though the edu-
cation of books was thus denied him, yet through won-
derful ways of Providence he has been able to read
in the great book of human nature, and his knowledge
of men is as great as his influence and power for good
over them. At the age of fifteen he moved with his
family to Chicago, where his voice was a great attrac-
tion in concert-halls and among worldly comrades.
He was standing by a piano in a German concert-hall,
one day in 1881, when a Christian worker entered and
persuaded him to attend one of the revival meetings
in Mr. Moody's church being conducted by Dr. Pen-
tecost and Mr. Stebbins. He was interested, and for
twelve nights he attended regularly. On the twelfth
night he heard a sermon from the words, " Christ hath
redeemed us," and he gave his heart to God. Shortly
288 Sankeys Story
afterward he engaged in mission work in all parts of
Chicago, wherever and whenever he could make him-
self useful, at the same time studying music under Pro-
fessor George F. Root. After two years he went to
work among the cowboys in the West, where he had
many thrilling experiences. Since then Mr. Bilhorn
has devoted his talents entirely to the work of singing
the Gospel, and to-day he is ranked among the leaders
of evangelistic work in song.
Take Me as I Am
Words by Eliza H. Hamilton Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Jesus, my Lord, to Thee I cry;
Unless Thou help me I must die."
Years ago, while revival meetings were being
held in one of the large towns in Scotland, a young
girl became anxious about her spiritual condition. Re-
turning from one of the meetings, she went to her
own minister and asked him how she might be saved.
" Ah, lassie," he said, " don't be alarmed ! Just
read your Bible and say your prayers, and you will
be all right."
But the poor, illiterate girl cried out : " O Min-
ister, I canna read, I canna pray! Lord Jesus, take
me as I am ! "
In this way the girl became a follower of Christ ;
and a lady who heard of the girl's experience wrote
this hymn, '* Take Me as I Am." I found the verses
in a religious newspaper, and set them to the simple
music by which they are now most generally known.
At the same time Mr. Stebbins also found the verses
and set them to music, and he sent them to me at the
Of the Gospel Hy?7zns 289
same time that I was sending my tune for the same
words to him. In " Gospel Hymns " both tunes are
A minister in England writes to me about a Chris-
tian woman, a shoemaker's wife, who had a lodger that
was an obstinate unbeHever. " The good woman often
tried to induce him to go to meetings, but in vain.
Tracts which she placed on the table in his room she
found crushed on the floor. She would smooth them
out and again place them so as to attract his attention,
but he would read nothing but his novels and news-
papers. One spring the old man fell ill with bron-
chitis. The good woman acted as his nurse, for he
had no relatives who cared for him. She used the
opportunity, often speaking to him about his soul and
reading the Word of God ; but she could make no im-
pression upon him. One day she was reading the
hymn * Jesus, my Lord, to Thee I cry/ and when she
came to the refrain, the old man called out to her
sharply : ' That's not in the book ! ' The woman an-
swered, ' Why, yes, it is.' He declared again that he
did not believe it was in the book. The good woman
told him that he could read it for himself. He asked
for his glasses, and read with wonder and amazement,
again and again, ' My only plea — Christ died for me !
oh, take me as I am.' A few weeks afterward he said
to the woman one morning, ^ I am going home to-day,
and I am so happy, so happy!' In an hour or two he
passed away, repeating these words to the last."
" One afternoon when visiting the Royal Infirm-
290, San key s Story
ary," a missionary in England writes, *' I found a
young girl very ill and without any prospect of recov-
ery. I sat down by her and read the hymn, ' Jesus,
my Lord, to Thee I cry.' She Ustened very attentively,
but I did not know until the following week, when I
visited her again, what a deep impression it had made
upon her. On this second occasion I was told that
she was much worse. Hearing I was there, she asked
her mother to tell me that she wanted very much to
see me. When I went to her she leaned forward and,
with an eagerness which surprised me, repeated the
words : * My only plea — Christ died for me ! Oh, take
me as I am.' These comforting Hues had been con-
stantly on her lips during this last week of her life.
That night the Lord took her home."
A party of policemen had gathered in a drawing-
room in the West End of London. One was there
who had been persuaded by his Christian comrades to
attend for the first time a meeting of The Christian
Policemen's Association. He went unwillingly and
rather late, and did not expect to care for the meeting.
But soon after he had entered the room a lady. Miss
Beauchamp, sang " Take me as I am " as a solo. The
repeated refrain set him to thinking. As he was ? He
had led a rough life, first as a blue-jacket and then as
a policeman. He could not well be more wretched and
miserable than he was that night, with a load of sins
upon him and a dark, dreary future to look forward to.
He had never thought that Jesus would take him as he
was. He had always thought that he must be much
better first, and had often tried to make himself better;
Of the Gospel Hy77tns 291
but it had been a miserable failure. Now the words,
" Take me as I am," sounded over and over again in
his ears, and in his heart he repeated them, " Lord,
take me as I am." He left before the end of the meet-
ing, and so it was not until the following month that
his friends heard of the great change that had come
over him. Since that time his delight has been to
proclaim the love of God as opportunity offered, on
the street or to his comrades, seeking to turn other
lost ones to the path of Hfe.
While Mr. Moody and I were holding meetings
at Plymouth, England, Professor Henry Drummond,
who was assisting us, became very much interested in
an infidel who came to the services — laboring with
him for several days and visiting him in his home,
twenty miles distant, but making no impression on
him. Near the close of the mission the infidel came
again. On reaching the building, which was located
inside the barrack grounds, he found the door closed
and the building full. And while he was standing on
the green sward outside he heard the choir sing '' Take
me as I am." He told Professor Drummond after-
ward that God used this simple hymn to lead him into
the Shepherd's fold.
Tell It Out
Words by Frances R. Havergal Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Tell it out among the nations that the Lord is King;
Tell it out! Tell it out!"
Miss Havergal's sister Maria bears record that
this hymn was written in England in 1872, when the
author was unable to go to church one snowy morning.
292 Smikey's Story
She asked for her prayer-book, always liking to follow
the services of the day. On the return of her brother-
in-law, Mr. Shaw, from church, he heard her touch
upon the piano.
" Why, Frances, I thought you were upstairs ! "
"Yes, but I had my prayer-book; and in the
Psalms for to-day I read, 'Tell it out among the
heathen that the Lord is king.' I thought, ' What a
splendid first line ! ' and then words and music came
rushing in to me. There ! it's all written out."
I found Miss Ilavergal's tune rather difficult to
sing, and therefore arranged the one which is now
found in " Gospel Hymns," in " Sacred Songs and
Solos," and in the new Methodist Episcopal hymnal.
Tell Me the Old, Old Story
Words by Miss Kate Hankey Music by W. H. Doane
"Tell me the old, old story,
Of unseen things above."
This excellent hymn by Miss Hankey, of London,
has been translated into many languages, and has been
set to several tunes. Dr. Doane has this to say re-
garding the music by which it has become popular,
and the occasion on which he composed it: *' In 1867
I was attending the International Convention of the
Young Men's Christian Association, in Montreal.
Among those present was Major-General Russell, then
in command of the English forces during the Fenian
excitement. He arose in the meeting and recited the
words of this song from a sheet of foolscap paper —
tears streaming down his bronzed cheeks as he read.
I wrote the music for the song one hot afternoon while
Of the Gospel Hymms 293
on the stage-coach between the Glen Falls House and
the Crawford House in the White Mountains. That
evening we sung it in the parlors of the hotel. We
thought it pretty, although we scarcely anticipated the
popularity which was subsequently accorded it."
That Will be Heaven for Me
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by James McGranahan
" I know not the hour when my Lord will come
To take me away to His own dear home."
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps' ''The Gates Ajar,"
which aroused so much criticism a generation ago,
suggested to Mr. Bliss the need of this hymn. The
Scripture teaching that we shall be " with the Lord "
he deemed sufficient for spiritual contentment, off-
setting the " I know not " of speculation by the ** I
know " of faith. Mr. McGranahan was visiting Mr.
Bliss at that time. Bliss handed the words to him,
asking what he could get for a tune. McGranahan
worked upon it a long time without success, making
harmonies and trying to satisfy himself with some-
thing that would properly express the words. When
supper-time came he did not care to eat. At bedtime
they all went to their rooms, leaving him in the parlor
at the piano. Finally, dissatisfied with the result, he
threw himself on the floor and fell into a doze. Sud-
denly he awoke, and the tuqe, chorus and all, had
come — different from the harmonies he had worked
upon. When he sang it to Bliss in the morning he was
delighted with it, and immediately adopted it for use.
A wealthy Quaker lady heard this hymn in
294 Sankey s Story
Newcastle-on-Tyne, sung in connection with Mr.
Moody's lecture upon " Heaven." She was so much
impressed by it that she went home and induced her
husband to attend the meetings. She soon became one
of the most successful workers in our subsequent meet-
ings there and in London, taking lodgings near so as
to more efficiently work in the inquiry-meetings.
At the time Mr. Bliss and his wife were lost in the
railroad accident at Ashtabula I was living in a hotel
in Chicago. I had engaged a room near mine for
him, and was awaiting his arrival, when a friend came
into my room and, putting his hand on my shoulder.
said, '* Bliss is dead." The next Sunday we held a
great memorial service in the Tabernacle, to give ex-
pression to our sorrow. While I was singing '* That
will be Heaven for Me " as a solo, the two small
crowns of flowers which had been placed in front of the
organ on the platform were taken away, as it was dis-
covered that their two little children, Paul and George,
who were supposed to have been lost with their par-
ents, had been left at home at Towanda, Pennsylvania,
and were safe.
The Child of a King
Words by Hattie E. Buell Music by John B. Sumner
" My Father is rich in houses and lands.
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Mr. Peter P. Bilhorn relates the following inci-
dent in connection with this hymn, which happened
when he was engaged in evangelistic work among the
cowboys in the West, in 1833. '' We had started up
Of the Gospel Hymns 295
the Missouri River for Bismarck, and on Sunday we
stopped at a new town, named Blunt, to unload some
freight. A crowd of men and boys came down to the
wharf. I took my little organ, went on the wharf-
boat, and sang a few songs — among others the glorious
hymn, * Fm the child of a King.' I thought noth-
ing more of the occasion until long afterward, when
I sang the same song in Mr. Moody's church in Chi-
cago. Then a man in the back part of the house arose,
and said in a trembling voice : ' Two years ago I heard
that song at Blunt, Dakota; I was then an unsaved
man, but that song set me to thinking, and I decided
to accept Christ, and I am now studying for the
The Christian's «* Good-Night "
Words by Sarah Doudney Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Sleep on, beloved, sleep, and take thy res<-;
Lay down thy head upon thy Saviour's breast."
Each member of the Masonic Quartet of Pitts-
burgh recently received a check and a note of thanks
for singing at the funeral of Captain S. S. Brown.
An unusual story was also made public thereby. ''In
the last hours of the turf king's life," one of the daily
papers says, " he had an interval in which his mind
was clear. He called his daughter-in-law and asked
if she would take on herself the task of seeing that
* The Christian's Good-night ' was sung at his funeral ;
and he told her, in a disjointed way, of a dream from
which he had just awakened. He had thought him-
self dead, and there were four ministers taking part
in his funeral. He named the ministers and said that
296 Sankey's Story
one of them had broken down while making an ad-
dress, and that another, naming this minister also, had
taken up the address. Captain Brown said that he
awoke as all were singing ' The Christian's Good-
night,' and that he had joined with them in the sing-
ing. The dying man smiled faintly at the picture
he drew, but begged his daughter-in-law to remember
The words of this hymn were occasioned by the
death of a friend. They were handed to me at Bris-
tol, England. I wrote the music soon afterward, and
sang it at the funeral of Charles H. Spurgeon, the
great London preacher. It has since become very
useful on two continents as a funeral hymn.
The Cross of Jesus
Words by Elizabeth Clephane Music by Ira D. Sankey
" Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand."
I composed the music to this hymn in the home
of my dear friend. Dr. Thomas Bamardo, whose
death is announced through the public press just at
the time I am writing this note. The author of the
hymn, Elizabeth Clephane, also wrote the widely-
known hymn, " The Ninety and Nine," and these two
were her only hymns.
The first time this hymn was sung is still fresh
in my memory. The morning after I had composed
the music the Rev. W. H. Aitkin was to speak at our
mission in the great Bow Road Hall, in London, Mr.
Moody having made an arrangement to speak at Her
Majesty's Theater. It was a lovely morning, and a
Of the Gospel Hymns 297
great gathering had assembled at the meeting, which
was held at eight o'clock. Before the sermon I sang
" Beneath the cross of Jesus " as a solo ; and as in the
case of "The Ninety and Nine," much blessing came
from its use for the first time. With eyes filled with
tears, and deeply moved, the preacher said to the audi-
ence : ''Dear friends, I had intended to speak to you
this morning upon work for the Master, but this new
hymn has made such an impression on my heart, and
evidently upon your own, that I will defer my proposed
address and speak to you on ' The Cross of Jesus.' "
The sermon was one of the most powerful I have ever
heard, and many souls that morning accepted the mes-
sage of grace and love. Some years later Mr. Aitkin
held many successful meetings in New York and other
cities in this country, and he often used this hymn as a
An odd incident occurred in connection with Mr.
Aitkin's use of this hymn in St. Paul's Church, at
Broadway and Wall street, the money center of
America. A gentleman, having heard this piece sung
frequently by great congregations of business men
and Wall street brokers in St. Paul's Church, called
upon the publishers of the small book of words which
had been distributed in the church, and said that he
*• wished to secure that beautiful English tune which
Mr. Aitkin used so much in his meetings." When he
was told that he could find it in any copy of " Gospel
Hymns " he became quite indignant, and insisted that
it was a fine classic which the great preacher had
brought with him from England — nothing like the
Moody ami Sankey trash! Having secured a copy
298 Sa^ikey's Story
of Mr. Aitkin's hymn-book containing the " fine Eng-
lish tune " to the beautiful words of ** Beneath the
cross of Jesus," he went away happy, but only to find
that it was written by the author of the music to " The
Ninety and Nine."
The Gate Ajar for Me
Words by Mrs. Lydia Baxter Music by S. J. Vail
"There is a gate that stands ajar,
And through its portals gleaming."
Mrs. Lydia Baxter, born in Petersburg, New
York, in 1809, was an invalid for many years. But
her interest in the religious welfare of those around
her was manifested in many ways. She wrote " There
is a gate that stands ajar " about three years before
her death in New York City in 1874, when she was
considerably past the sixty-year mark.
In our meetings in Great Britain, 1873-74, this
hymn was much used. It was sung at the watch-night
service in 1873, the night before New Year's, in the
Free Assembly Hall of Edinburgh. A young lady
who was present — Maggie Lindsay, of Aberdeen,
Scotland — was much impressed by the hymn, and
those seated by her side heard her exclaim, "O, heav-
enly Father, is it true that the gate is standing ajar
for me? If it is so, I will go in." That night she
became a disciple of the Lord Jesus. The next day
she called on her pastor, the Rev. J. H. Wilson, min-
ister of the Barclay Church, and told him of her de-
cision. He was greatly pleased, and advised her to
tell her school companions of her experience. This
Of the Gospel Hymns 299
she did, and succeeded in leading several of them into
the light. Scarcely a month later, on January 28,
Maggie took a train for her home, but she never
reached there alive. At Manual Junction a collision
took place between a mineral train and the one on
which she was riding. A number of passengers were
killed, and Maggie, all crushed and broken, was found
in the wreck. In one of her hands was a copy of
*' Sacred Songs and Solos," opened at her favorite
hymn, " There is a gate that stands ajar," the page of
which was stained with her heart's blood. She was
carried into a cottage near the station, where she lin-
gered a few days and was frequently heard to sing
on her dying couch the chorus of the hymn so dear
to her, " For me, for me ! was left ajar for me ! "
In commemoration of this event, which touched
me deeply, I wrote my first hymn, " Home at last,"
which I also set to music.
An affecting incident was related by one of the
colporteurs of the Christian Colportage Association
^ for England. " I called at a house in B — , where
lived two aged people who were invalids. I had called
several times before, but could never sell them any
books or com.mand their attention to hear about good
things. On this occasion I began to sing, * There is
a gate that stands ajar.' When I came to the chorus,
* Oh, depth of mercy,' I saw a tear in the old lady's
eye, and I stopped. But she said : ' Go on ; that is a
nice song.' I continued, but before I had finished
she burst into tears, asking, ' Is that mercy for me ? '
I then talked to them both about Jesus and prayed
300 Sankey's Story
with them. They bought the hymn-book containing
the song, and earnestly begged me to come again as
soon as possible. I have visited them every month.
Last week, when I called I found the poor woman
dying; but when her husband told her I had come, she
said: 'I want to see him, tell him to come in.' She
could hardly speak, but she said in a whisper : * Do
sing my favorite.' I knew which one she meant, and
sang very softly,
*Oh, depth of mercy! can it be
That gate was left ajar for me?'
She tried to join me in singing, but fell back, quite
exhausted. I could not talk much with her, she was
so weak ; but she held my hand with a firm grasp, still
repeating the words, * Oh, depth of mercy ! can it be ? '
I have just heard that she has passed away, happy in
the Saviour's love, and singing as well as she could
that beautiful hymn.'*
Lord Shaftesbury once told the following story:
" A young woman had wandered away from home and
parents. One day, while listening to the Gospel, she
was so impressed that she resolved to return home.
She started, and on reaching the house found the door
unfastened, and she walked upstairs to her mother.
* Mother,' she asked, * how was it that I found the
door open ? ' ' My girl,' replied the mother, ' that
door has never been closed since you have been away ;
I thought that some night my poor girl would
Of the Gospel Hymns 301
The Harbor Bell
Words by John H. Yates Music by Ira D. Sankey
" Our life is like a stormy sea —
Swept by the gales of sin and grief."
John H. Yates, a humble layman who lived at
Batavia, New York, wrote this hymn after reading the
following incident in a newspaper : " We were nearing
a dangerous coast, and the night was drawing near.
Suddenly a heavy fog settled down upon us. No
lights had been sighted, and the pilot seemed anxious
and troubled, not knowing how soon we might be
dashed to pieces on the hidden rocks along the shore.
The whistle was blown loud and hard, but no response
was heard. The captain ordered the engines to be
stopped, and for some time we drifted about on the
waves. Suddenly the pilot cried, * Hark ! ' Far away
in the distance we heard the welcome tones of the har-
bor bell, which seemed to say, ' This way, this way ! *
Again the engines were started, and, guided by the
welcome sound, we entered the harbor in safety."
On receiving this hymn from Mr. Yates, in 1891,
I at once set it to music. It has been found useful
in meetings for sailors and fishermen.
The King is Coming
Words by Ira D. Sankey Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Rejoice! Rejoice! our King is coming!
And the time will not be long."
During one of my trips to Great Britain, on " The
City of Rome," a storm raged on the sea. The wind
was howling through the rigging, and waves like
302 Sankefs Story
mountains of foam were breaking over the bow of the
vessel. A great fear had fallen upon the passengers.
When the storm was at its worst we all thoue^ht that
we might soon go to the bottom of the sea. The con-
viction came to me that the Lord would be with us in
the trying hour, and, sitting down in the reading room,
I composed this hymn. Before reaching England the
tune had formed itself in my mind, and on arriving
in London I wrote it out and had it published in
'* Sacred Songs and Solos." It has been much em-
ployed in England in connection with sermons on the
second coming of Christ, and was frequently used
by Mr. Moody.
The Mistakes of My Life
Words by Mrs. Urania Locke Bailey Music by Robert Lowry
" The mistakes of my life have been many,
The sins of my heart have been more."
While we were holding meetings in Boston, in
1876, Mr. Moody was entertained by one of the lead-
ing lawyers of the city, who frequently before the
meetings would ask what solo I had selected. If I
had none, he would say: 'Tlease sing, 'The mistakes
of my life have been many ' ; for one of the greatest
mistakes I have ever made was to ignore God in all
my affairs. But at last he took away my only child, a
beloved son. That led me to the feet of Jesus, and I
bowed to kiss the hand that had laid the rod upon me.
Then I told the Lord that I would devote my fortune
to his service. In keeping with that promise I erected
a college for young women, located at Wellesley Lake,
near Boston." This good man has now passed on to
Of the Gospel Hym^is 303
his reward. Shortly before he died ]Mr. Moody and I
purchased a perpetual scholarship in Wellesley Col-
lege, as a prize to be sought after by the young women
of Northfield Seminary.
Written about the year 1871, this hymn was much
used and became ver\^ popular in our meetings in Great
The Model Church
Words by John H. Yates Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Well, wife, I've found the model church,
And worshiped there to-day."
I found this poem in a newspaper, wrote the music
for it, and sang it for the first time at a meeting for
ministers and Christian workers at Atlanta, Georgia,
conducted by Mr. Moody. It has been repeatedly
used as a solo in meetings gathered for the discussion
of the subject, " How to reach the masses." Once, in
Buffalo, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Yates of
Batavia, New York ; and I urged him to devote more
of his time to writing Gospel hymns. He has since
written several popular songs, one of the most suc-
cessful being *' Faith is the Victory," which I published
in '' The Christian Endeavor Hymnbook."
A poor little girl, living in an alley of the slum
district of Chicago, was used in a remarkable way for
the conversion of a commercial traveler. He had re-
ceived instructions, his trunks filled with samples had
been sent to the depot, and hurried good-byes had
been said. With gripsack in hand, he took a short-cut
to the station through one of the filthy alleys of the
304 Sa7ikeys Story
city. He saw a great number of half-clad children,
whose only home was a wretched basement or illy-
ventilated tenement. As he passed, one little waif was
singing at the top of her voice :
" There'll be no sorrow there."
" Where ?" said the thoughtless salesman.
" In heaven above, where all is love, there'll be no sorrow
sang the little girl.
The answer, the singer, the far-away heaven with
no sorrow there, lodged in his heart. The fast-flying
train soon left behind the hurry and the bustle of city
life, but the answer of the little singing waif was taken
up and repeated by the rapid revolution of the car-
wheels. He could not forget the singer and the song,
nor could he rest until he cried for mercy at the Cross.
It was one of the many fulfilments of the promise, " A
little child shall lead them."
The Ninety and Nine
Words by E. C. Clephane Music by Ira D. Sankey
"There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold."
It was in the year 1874 that the poem, "The
Ninety and Nine," was discovered, set to music, and
sent out upon its world-wide mission. Its discovery
seemed as if by chance, but I cannot regard it other-
wise than providential. Mr. Moody had just been con-
ducting a series of meetings in Glasgow, and I had
been assisting him in his work as director of the sing-
Of the Gospel Hymns 305
ing. We were at the railway station at Glasgow and
about to take the train for Edinburgh, whither we were
going upon an urgent invitation of ministers to hold
three days of meetings there before going into the
Highlands. We had held a three months' series in
Edinburgh just previous to our four months' campaign
in Glasgow. As we were about to board the train I
bought a weekly newspaper, for a penny. Being much
fatigued by our incessant labors at Glasgow, and in-
tending to begin work immediately upon our arrival at
Edinburgh, we did not travel second- or third-class, as
was our custom, but sought the seclusion and rest
which a first-class railway carriage in Great Britain
affords. In the hope of finding news from America I
began perusing my lately purchased newspaper. This
hope, however, was doomed to disappointment, as the
only thing in its columns to remind an American of
home and native land was a sermon by Henry Ward
I threw the paper down, but shortly before arriv-
ing in Edinburgh I picked it up again with a view to
reading the advertisements. While thus engaged my
eyes fell upon a little piece of poetry in a corner of the
paper. I carefully read it over, and at once made up
my mind that this would make a great hymn for evan-
gelistic work — if it had a tune. So impressed was I
that I called Mr. Moody's attention to it, and he asked
me to read it to him. This I proceeded to do with all
the vim and energy at my command. After I had fin-
ished I looked at my friend Moody to see what the
effect had been, only to discover that he had not heard
a word, so absorbed was he in a letter which he had
3o6 Sankey s Story
received from Chicago. My chagrin can be better
imagined than described. Notwithstanding this ex-
perience, I cut out the poem and placed it in my musi-
cal scrap-book — which, by the way, has been the seed-
plot from which sprang many of the Gospel songs that
are now known throughout the world.
At the noon meeting on the second day, held at the
Free Assembly Hall, the subject presented by Mr.
Moody and other speakers was " The Good Shepherd."
When Mr. Moody had finished speaking he called upon
Dr. Bonar to say a few words. He spoke only a few
minutes, but with great power, thrilling the immense
audience by his fervid eloquence. At the conclusion
of Dr. Bonar's words Mr. Moody turned to me with
the question, " Have you a solo appropriate for this
subject, with which to close the service?" I had noth-
ing suitable in mind, and was greatly troubled to know
what to do. The Twenty-third Psalm occurred to me,
but this had been sung several times in the meeting.
I knew that every Scotchman in the audience would
join me if I sang that, so I could not possibly rendef
this favorite psalm as a solo. At this moment I
seemed to hear a voice saying: '' Sing the hymn you
found on the train !" But I thought this impossible, as
no music had ever been written *for that hymn. Again
the impression came strongly upon me that I must
sing the beautiful and appropriate words I had found
the day before, and placing- the little newspaper slip on
the organ in front of me, I lifted my heart in prayer,
asking God to help me so to sing that the people might
hear and understand. Laying my hands upon the
organ I struck the key of A flat, and began to sing.
Of the Gospel Hymns 307
Note by note the tune was given, which has not
been changed from that day to this. As the singing
ceased a great sigh seemed to go up from the meeting,
and I knew that the song had reached the hearts of
my Scotch audience. Mr. Moody was greatly moved.
Leaving the pulpit, he came down to where I was
seated. Leaning over the organ, he looked at the
little newspaper slip from which the song had been
sung, and with tears in his eyes said : " Sankey, where
did you get that hymn? I never heard the like of it
in my life." I was also moved to tears and arose and
replied : '* Mr. Moody, that's the hymn I read to you
yesterday on the train, which you did not hear." Then
Mr. Moody raised his hand and pronounced the bene-
diction, and the meeting closed. Thus '' The Ninety
and Nine " was born.
A short time afterward I received, at Dundee, a
letter from a lady who had been present at the meet-
ing, thanking me for having sung her deceased sister's
words. From correspondence that followed I learned
that the author of the poem was Elizabeth C. Clephane,
a resident of Melrose, Scotland, one of three sisters, all
members of a refined Christian family. She was
born in Edinburgh in 1830. Her sister, in describing
Elizabeth, says : *' She was a very quiet little child,
shrinking from notice and always absorbed in books.
The loss of both parents, at an early age, taught her
sorrow. As she grew up she was recognized as the
cleverest of the family. She was first in her class and
a favorite with the teacher. Her love for poetry was a
passion. Amongc the sick and suffering she won the
name of ' My Sunbeam.' She wrote ' The Ninety and
3oS Sankey' s Story
Nine * for a friend, who had it published in ' The Chil-
dren's Hour.' It was copied from thence into various
publications, but was comparatively little noticed. She
died in 1869."
When Mr. Moody and I returned from England,
in 1875, we held our first meeting on a Sunday after-
noon in front of the old Congregational church in the
village of Northfield, Massachusetts, Mr. Moody's
home. On reaching the church we found it overflow-
ing, and more people surrounding the church outside
than were inside. Mr. Moody, when entering the
pulpit, said : " I always speak to the largest crowd, and
as it is outside, I will speak from the front of the
church." The congregation retired to the open air,
and the small cabinet organ was carried to a position on
a small porch in front of the church, where it was
placed with just room enough for me to take my seat.
After a few of the congregational hymns had been
sung, Mr. Moody announced that I would sing " The
Ninety and Nine." Nearly opposite the church, across
the river, a man was seated on his porch. He had
refused to attend the service in the village, and was
quite angry because his family and neighbors had all
gone to the meeting. But the singing of this song
reached him, and two weeks later he attended a prayer-
meeting at a small school-house near his home, where
he rose and said that he had heard a song which
greatly troubled him, sung by Mr. Sankey at the meet-
ing held in the open air at Northfield, and that he
wished the Christians to pray for him. This they did,
and he became converted. He then removed to North-
Of the Gospel Hymns 309
field and joined Mr. Moody in his work in connection
with the schools, where he continued for many years.
On the occasion of laying the corner-stone for
the new Congregational church in Northfield, Mr.
Moody asked me to stand on the comer-stone and sing
"' The Ninety and Nine " without the organ accompani-
ment, as he hoped that this church would be one whose
mission it would be to seek the lost ones. While I
was singing, Mr. Caldwell, the man who had heard
the song across the river, lay dying in his cottage near
Mr. Moody's home. Calling his wife to his bedside, he
asked her to open the south window, as he thought he
heard singing. Together they listened to the same
song which had been used to lead him into the way of
life. In a little while he passed away to join the Shep-
herd in the upper fold.
At the close of our meetings at Newcastle-on-Tyne
one of the most efficient workers in connection with
our services, Mrs. Claphin, decided to go to the Con-
tinent for a season of rest. When passing tlirough
London she purchased a large number of the penny
edition of " Sacred Songs and Solos," for distribution
on the way. At the Grand Hotel, in Paris, she left a
number of them on the reading-table, with a prayer
for God's blessing upon those who might find them
there. A few weeks later she visited Geneva, Switz-
erland, and while attending a prayer-meeting there
one evening, the minister of the church told a touching
story about a young English lady, who was a member
of his church. She had received a letter from a long-
lost brother, who was ill at the Grand Hotel in Paris.
3IO Sankey's Story
The young lady asked her physician if he would allow
her to go to see her brother. The physician said:
" You will die if you do." She replied : " I will die if
I don't." A few days later she started for Paris, and
on reaching the Grand Hotel she was taken to the room
where her dying brother lay. After a warm greeting
he took from under the pillow a copy of "Sacred
Songs and Solos," and pointing to " The Ninety and
Nine," said : " This hymn was the means of bringing
me to Christ." Mrs. Claphin, who was in the audience
and heard this story related, thanked God for having
put it into her heart to distribute the little hymn-books.
A friend sends me the following : " One day I
was talking with a woman of the most abandoned sort,
who had hardened her heart by many years of
drunkenness and sin. Nothing I could say made any
impression on her. When I was about to give up, our
old Scotch cook, who was fond of poetry, began to sing :
* But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through,
Ere he found His sheep that was lost.'
She was in the kitchen, and was not aware that any
one was within hearing. Her rich Scotch brogue lent
charm to the verse, and it seemed a message from God.
For the poor woman to whom I had been talking, and
who was so hardened a moment before, burst into
tears, and falling on her knees, began to pray to the
Good Shepherd to receive her. She was converted,
and has often testified to the fact that the song led
her to Christ."
Of the Gospel Hymns 311
Mr. Blane, of South Africa, relates : " I knew a
young man who was the only unconverted member of
his family. At home he was constantly hearing of
Christ, and being asked to accept him as his Saviour.
He determined to rid himself of all home restraint,
and to enjoy himself by making a tour of the Conti-
nent. He set out, and for some time all went well. At
one of the hotels at which he stayed there was an old
Christian woman. As was her constant habit, having
first obtained the consent of the proprietor, she went
from room to room, leaving upon the table of each a
little tract or book. She entered this young man's
room, and with a prayer to God for guidance, took out
a small copy of Sankey's hymns, opening it at the one
* There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.'
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit she took her
pencil and drew a stroke under the words of the third
line, ' One was out on the hills away.' Soon the young
man entered his room, and at once the book caught his
eye. He went over and read the penciled line. Like
a flash the image of his home came up before him, and
all the dear ones there, until his stony heart was
broken. Throwing himself upon his knees, he cried
for mercy and besought the Father to receive him for
Christ's sake. Soon the answer came, and he rose to
his feet a new man in Christ Jesus."
Mr. Thomas Leigh, of Liverpool, who assisted in
our meetings in that city, writes me as follows : " At
312 Sankey's Story
your first mission in Liverpool an old man, between
seventy and eighty, was converted through your sing-
ing 'There were ninety and nine.' He lived for a
number of years afterward, and was a bright worker
and gave a clear testimony. During the remainder of
his life he went by the name of * Ninety and Nine.' "
From South America, only last November, came
this testimony from a former co-worker : " Many
years ago, in 1884, I had the pleasure of meeting you.
I was then a member of your London choir, and helped
in speaking to souls at the after-meetings of those won-
derful gatherings you and dear Mr. Moody held in
London in that year. Now, more than twenty years
after, I am out here, where God in his grace has given
me the privilege of witnessing for him for the last
sixteen years. I can not tell you the blessing that the
translations of your hymns into Spanish have been
here. I send you a copy of our hymn-book, in which
I have collected a large number of songs, the great
majority having against them ' S. S.,' signifying
* Sacred Songs and Solos.' These are translations,
adaptations or tunes of your collection. I am sure God
has graciously used these hymns in blessing many
souls. Only this afternoon, while I was out visiting
some new converts, I heard of the case of a woman
converted through the singing of a Spanish transla-
tion of ' There were ninety and nine.' Some time ago
a man, who was a bad character, was spoken to by a
colporteur, and he had a desire to read the Bible. He
lost his work for a day and a half while he hunted in
the different book-shops for a Bible. At last he got
Of the Gospel Hymns 3 1 3
one, and commenced reading it. He came to our open-
air meetings, followed us into one of our halls, and
was soon converted. He was so thankful to the Lord
for what he had done for him that he asked us to
come and have meetings in his house. The result has
been that at least twelve of his relatives and neigh-
bors have been converted. Not .long ago a woman
came into the meeting in his house in a careless, laugh-
ing way. The hymn I have referred to was being sung.
The Spirit of God convicted her then and there, and
she burst into tears and cried to God for mercy, say-
ing that she was * that lost sheep, out on the moun-
tains.' She found peace, and now her husband is
converted, and they are bright and earnest Christians."
The Shining Shore
Words by the Rev. David Nelson Music by George F. Root
" My days are gliding swiftly by,
And I, a pilgrim stranger."
Mr. Nelson was a surgeon in the army during the
War of 1812. Afterward he entered the ministry,
preached in Tennessee and Kentucky, and later moved
to Missouri, where he opened a plantation. There he
heard an address on the evils of slavery that changed
his views. " I will live on roast potatoes and salt
before I will hold slaves !" he declared. He advocated
colonization of the negroes. This brought down upon
him the wrath of his slave-holding neighbors, who
drove him from his home and pursued him through the
woods and swamps for three days and nights. Finally
he came out on the banks of the Mississippi River
opposite Quincy, Illinois. By signs he made known
314 Sankeys Story
his condition to friends there, and then hid in the
bushes to await the approach of night. As he lay
there in danger of being captured every moment, the
land of freedom in plain sight, with the swiftly gliding
waters between, the lines of this hymn began to assume
form in his mind, and he wrote them down on the
back of a letter he had in his pocket. The voices of
the vengeful pursuers were heard in the woods about
him. Once they strode by the very clump of bushes in
which he was concealed, and even poked their guns in
to separate the branches ; but they failed to notice him.
Several members of the Congregational church of
Quincy came over in the evening in a canoe, and began
fishing near his hiding-place. When they had located
this exactly they gave a signal, and drawing near to
the shore, met him as he rushed down to the water's
edge. They got him safely to the Illinois side, but
were discovered and followed by the slaveholders,
who demanded his surrender. But they were informed
that Mr. Nelson was now in a free State, and that
nothing should molest him. In Illinois he was em-
ployed by the Home Missionary Society, and continued
to take an active part in the anti-slavery agitation of
those times. He died in 1844.
As to the music of this hymn Mr. Root says :
" One day, I remember, as I was working at a set of
graded part-songs for singing classes, mother passed
through the room and laid a slip from one of the re-
ligious newspapers before me, saying ; ' George, I
think that would be good for music' I looked at the
poem, which began, ' My days are gliding swiftly by,'
and a simple melody sang itself along in my mind as I
Of the Gospel Hymns 315
read. I jotted it down and went on with my work.
That was the origin of the music of 'The Shining
Shore.' Later, when I took up the melody to har-
monize it, it seemed so very simple and commonplace
that I hesitated about setting the other parts to it. I
finally decided that it might be useful to somebody, and
I completed it, though it was not printed until some
months afterward. In after years I examined it in an
endeavor to account for its great popularity — but in
vain. To the musician there is not one reason in
melody or harmony, scientifically regarded, for such a
fact. To him hundreds of others, now forgotten, were
This was a favorite hymn of Henry Ward Beecher.
The Smitten Rock
Words by George C. Needham Music by Ira D. Sankey
" From the riven Rock there floweth
Living water ever clear."
" When Mr. Sankey lived at Cohasset, Massachu-
setts, in the summer of 1876, after the great Boston
meetings, he very naturally desired to bring the Gospel
to the people living in that n.eighborhood. Accord-
ingly he invited me," wrote Mr. Needham on one
occasion, *'to spend a week with him in a series of
evangelistic meetings. Before the breakfast-hour one
morning, while Mr. Sankey was playing on his organ, I
remarked : * I wish we had a good hymn on The Smitten
Rock, as I hope to speak on that subject to-night.'
Mr. Sankey replied with enthusiasm : ' Here is a new
hymn which came to me last night in my sleep ; I be-
3i6 Sankeys Story
lieve the Lord gave it to me. I wish I had words for
it. Why don't you write a piece on The Rock?' I
replied, * Why, I can't write such a hymn as you want,
and you know that I don't understand music ; how to
fit words to your music would puzzle an unmusical
man.' The enthusiastic soloist, still playing, said:
* You'll find pen and paper on the table ; this is a stir-
ring tune and I want the words ; try your hand at it.'
I immediately sat down and asked the Lord's special
help, and then wrote the hymn as it now appears. Mr.
Sankey took the paper, with the ink scarcely dry on it,
and sang it through with the chorus — the new air and
the words exactly fitting, without alteration or amend-
ment. ' I think the Lord gave you the words as truly
as he gave me the tune,' was Mr. Sankey's first remark.
And then we commended the little piece and its music
to the great Master, praying that the unction of the
Holy One might rest upon it. Mr. Sankey sang the
hymn for the first time in public that evening, after I
had given my address on The Smitten Rock."
The Solid Rock
Words by the Rev. Edward Mote Music by William B. Bradbury
" My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness."
" I went astray from my youth," said the author
of this hymn. " My Sundays were spent on the streets
in play. So ignorant was I that I did not know there
was a God." He was a cabinet-maker, and was con-
verted under the preaching of the Rev. John Hyatt.
The refrain came into the author's mind one morning in
1834, as he was walking up Holborn Hill, London, on
Of the Gospel Hymns 317
his way to work. Four stanzas were completed that
day and two more on the following Sunday. In 1852
Mr. Mote became the pastor of a Baptist church in
Horsham, Sussex, where he continued to minister for
more than twenty years. In his eighty-first year his
health declined. " I think I am going to heaven," he
said ; " yes, I am nearing port. The truths I have
preached I am now living upon, and they will do to die
upon. Ah ! the precious blood ! The precious blood
which takes away all our sins ; it is this which makes
peace with God." And so he passed peacefully away,
his hope ''built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and
The Sweet Story of Old
Words by Mrs. Jemima Luke Music by J. C. Englebrecht
" I think when I read that sweet story of old,
When Jesus was here among men."
" In the year 1841 I went to the Normal Infant
School in Gray's Inn Road to obtain some knowledge
of the system," writes Mrs. Luke. " Mary Moffat,
afterwards Mrs. Livingstone, was there at the same
time, and Sarah Roby, whom ]\Ir. and Mrs. Moffat had
rescued in infancy when buried alive, and had brought
up with their own children. Among the marching
pieces at Gray's Inn Road was a Greek air, the pathos
of which took my fancy, and I searched Watts and
Jane Taylor and several Sunday-school hymn-books for
words to suit the measure but in vain. Having been
recalled home, I went one day on some missionary
business to the little town of Wellington, five miles
from Taunton, in a stage-coach. It was a beautiful
3i8 Sankey's Story
spring morning; it was an hour's ride, and there was
no other inside passenger. On the back of an old
envelope I wrote in pencil the first two of the verses
now so well known, in order to teach the tune to the
village school supported by my step-mother, and which
it was my province to visit. The third verse was added
afterward to make it a missionary hymn. My father
superintended the Sunday-school in which we taught,
and used to let the children choose the first hymn.
One Sunday the children started their new hymn. My
father turned to his younger daughters and said,
* Where did that come from ? I never heard it before.'
* Oh, Jemima made it,' they replied. Next day he
asked for a copy, and sent it, without my knowledge,
to ' The Sunday-School Teachers' Magazine.' But
for this it would probably never have appeared in
print." Mrs. Luke adds regarding her composition :
** It was a little inspiration from above, and not * in
me,' for I have never written other verses worthy of
There is a Fountain
Words by the Rev. William Cowper Music by Dr. Lowell Mason
" There is a fountain filled with blood.
Drawn from Immanuel's veins."
Born of a personal experience when the author
was forty years old, this hymn of faith for more than
a century has been eminently useful in the practical
work of evangelizing the world.
Along the streets of Glasgow, shortly after our
first visit to Scotland, a little boy passed one evening,
singing " There is a fountain filled with blood." A
Of the Gospel Hymns 3 1 9
Christian policeman joined in the song, and when he
had finished his beat he asked the boy if he understood
what he was singing. " Oh, yes," said the Httle fellow,
" I know it in my heart, and it is very precious." A
few evenings afterward some one asked the policeman :
'* Do you know that a woman standing where we are,
was awakened and saved the other night by hearing,
' There is a fountain,' sung by a policeman and a boy ?"
A lieutenant in the Union army, having received
his death-wound in a gallant charge at the head of his
regiment, was visited in the hospital by the chaplain,
who inquired how he felt. He said he had always been
cheerful, and was now ready to meet God in peace.
** Chaplain," he added, '' I was passing through the
streets of New York once on a Sunday night, and I
heard singing. I went in and saw a company of poor
people. They were singing ' There is a fountain filled
with blood.' I was overpowered with the impression
the hymn made upon me, and I gave my heart to God.
Since then I have loved Jesus, and I love him now."
That was his last speech.
There is a Green Hill far away
Words by Cecil F. Alexander Music by George C. Stebbins
" There is a green hill far away.
Without a city wall."
While holding meetings with Mr. Moody, at Car-
diff, Wales, in 1883, I visited the ruins of Tintern
Abbey with Professor Drummond. While there I
sang this song, which the professor said to me was
one of the finest hymns in the English language. A
320 Sankey's Story
number of years later I sang it on the green hill be-
lieved to be Calvary, outside the walls of Jerusalem.
Mrs. Alexander was the wife of the Most Rev-
erend W. Alexander, D. D., Archbishop of Armagh.
She first published "There is a green hill far away"
in her ''Hymns for Little Children" in 1848. It is a
popular children's hymn in England. Mr. Stebbins
set it to a new tune in 1884. Mrs. Alexander wrote
about four hundred hymns and poems for children.
There'll be no Dark Valley
Words by the Rev. W. O. Gushing Music by Ira D. Sankey
" There'll be no dark valley when Jesus comes,
There'll be no dark valley when Jesus comes."
One night during the Boxer revolt, when the Chi-
nese had set fire to many buildings and it seemed as
though all the missionaries and native Christians in a
besieged city would be destroyed, the children belong-
ing to the Junior Christian Endeavor Society held a
meeting in a chapel. While the cracklings of the
flames, the sharp report of the Chinese guns, and the
cries of men and women running to and fro were
rending the air, these httle disciples of Jesus were
singing: "There'll be no dark valley when Jesus
A missionary, working in the slums of a city in
Ireland, writes me as follows : " I feel constrained to
thank you from the bottom of my soul for all the great
blessings I have received from singing your songs.
I am a worker in the slums of , and I find that your
songs reach the hearts of fallen men and women before
Of the Gospel Hymns 321
anything else. I have just returned home from our
meeting, and the message I sang to-night was your
sweet song : ' There'll be no dark valley when Jesus
comes.' I want to thank you in particular for this
song, because it presents death to us in such a glorious
way. The old Welsh people used to speak and sing
of death as something very fearful — a dark river, great
waves and so on — and I remember my dear mother
singing all the Welsh hymns referring to death, until I
shuddered. But, praise the Lord, I know now that
it is different. Your little song has confirmed this
belief in me not only, but in many, many more souls."
I arranged this hymn from the words which Mr.
W. O. Gushing wrote for me, of which, however, I
used only the first line, " There'll be no dark valley
when Jesus comes." It has of late become quite a
favorite throughout the country.
There's a Light in the Valley
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
** Through the valley of the shadow I must go.
Where the cold waves of Jordan roll."
" Some years ago I was in the dark," a young lady
of London told me, " and was seeking the Lord day
and night ; but I could get no rest or peace for my soul.
For two or three weeks the title of ' There's a Light in
the Valley ' kept ringing in my ears. I had never care-
fully read through the hymn, but in my constant plead-
ings with the Lord I always begged for this light of
the valley to be given to me. And one night Christ
gave the light I had been asking for. I cannot de-
32 2 Sankey's Story
scribe my joy when I could say, ' There is a light in
the valley for me.' I scarcely slept that night, for the
words would come to me again and again. It is now
my privilege, sometimes, to help sing them for others,
and then they seem to bring a fresh wave of my Sav-
iour's love to me, as they did on that blessed night."
Throw Out the Life-Line
Words and Music by the Rev. E. S. Ufford Arr. by Geo. C. Stebbins
"Throw out the Life-Line across the dark wave,
There is a brother whom some one should save."
The author of this famous hymn, while living in
Massachusetts near the ocean, one day saw a vessel
wrecked near the shore, and this suggested the idea
of the song. Mr. Stebbins shortly afterward, about
1889, obtained it from the author, and made a number
of changes in Mr. Ufford's harmony. From Mr. Steb-
bins I secured it for publication in *' Gospel Hymns "
and in " Sacred Songs and Solos." It became one of
the most useful of evangelistic hymns, and was often
sung with effect at our meetings in Great Britain,
A Christian commercial traveler has just sent me
this word : *' A few of us were holding a street meeting
at Warsaw, Indiana, last August. * Throw out the
Life-Line ' had been sung, and a man spoke as follows :
' I live at North Tonawanda, on the Niagara River.
Some time ago my son was walking toward home
when he heard a scream from the river. He rushed
down and saw a young lady struggling in the water,
being swept down the river. He hurriedly took off
his coat, vest and shoes, jumped in, swam to the lady,
Of the Gospel Hyiitns 323
took hold of her and called to some men, who were
farther down the river, to throw out a life-line. The
men heard the voice, saw the man and woman being
swept down the river, and hastily threw out a line to
them. But it was just about three feet too short. My
son and the woman were swept over the falls and
both were drowned.' There were two or three hun-
dred people at this street meeting, and the speaker
made the application that we should be sure that our
life-line is long enough to reach the people we are
after. It was a very effective service, and resulted in
at least one conversion."
Professor Drummond told me this story, and
made his own application of it : " On the coast of Spain
a great storm was raging, and a wrecked vessel came
drifting near the light-house. The cries of the perish-
ing seamen were heard in the darkness. The light-
house keeper, in making his report to the government
— ^which was required by law in the case of a wreck —
said : ' We rendered all possible aid from the top of
the light-house with the speaking trumpet; notwith-
standing, the next morning twenty corpses were found
on the shore and the vessel had disappeared.' This is
too often the case in our preaching. We get into a
high pulpit and shout at the top of our voices, but we
seldom take the life-line in our hands and go down to
those who are perishing in the waves of sin, to rescue
them ere it is too late."
A man on an Atlantic steamer told me another
story, which in its way illustrates the song : " One
stormy night at sea a cry was raised on board a
324 Sa7ikey's Story
steamer, ' Man overboard ; man overboard ! ' A num-
ber of the alarmed passengers ran to the captain and
begged him to stop the vessel. He roughly told them
to mind their own business and not to bother him. As
he said this a seaman ran up to the bridge and cried
that the man who had gone overboard was the captain's
brother. This made a great difference to the captain.
He at once reversed the vessel, rushed to the stern,
seized a Hfe-line, and threw it as far as he could
toward the drowning man, hoping that he might be
able to lay hold of it. Fortunately the man seized the
line, and, tying it around his body, cried : ' Pull away,
pull away ! ' The captain cried, * Have you hold of
the line ? ' A faint answer came back, * The line has
hold of me.' In a little while the man was drawn on
board and saved."
To-day the Saviour Calls
Words by S. F. Smith Music by Lowell Mason
"To-day the Saviour calls;
Ye wand'rers, come."
For inducing immediate acceptance of the offer of
salvation through faith in Christ this hymn has been
of great value. In one of his sermons Mr. Moody
refers to my singing it on a night never to be for-
'' For four or five nights in succession I had been
preaching in Chicago on the subject of * The Life of
Christ,' and we had followed him from the cradle to
the judgment hall of Pilate. I have always felt that
on that night I made one of the greatest mistakes of
my life. How often I have wished that I could call
Of the Gospel Hy^nns 325.
back what I said to the congregation at the close of
the meeting on that memorable night of the Chicago
fire ! That night I spoke from the text, ' What shall
I do with Jesus ? ' and as I closed I said : ' Now I want
you to take this question home with you, think it over,
and next Sunday night I want you to come back here
and tell me what you are going to do with Jesus.'
What a mistake ! I gave them a week to decide ; but
I never met that audience again. Even then the huge
bell of the court-house near by was tolling out what
proved to be the death-knell of the city. How well I
remember the hymn Air. Sankey sang as a solo at the
closing moment of that meeting, as his voice rang out :
* To-day the Saviour calls; for refuge fly;
The storm of justice falls, and death is nigh.*
It seemed almost prophetic. It was the last verse sung
in that beautiful hall. We closed the meeting and
went out into the streets, never to meet again. It is
estimated that a thousand lives were lost that night.
As many of them w^ere lost near Farwell Hall, it may
have been that some who heard me say that night,
* Take a week to decide the question,' were among the
To the Work
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"To the work! to the work! we are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod."
Fanny Crosby wrote the words of this hymn in
1869, and it was set to music by W. H. Doane two
years later. I sang it for the first time in the home
of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Cornell at Long Branch. The
326 Sankey's Story
servants gathered from all parts of the house while
I was singing, and looked into the parlor where I was
seated. When I was through one of them said : " That
is the finest hymn I have heard for a long time ; won't
you please sing it over again ? '* I felt that this was a
test case, and that if the hymn had such power over
those servants it would be useful in reaching other
people as well ; so I published it in " Gospel Hymns '*
in 1875, where it became one of the best work-songs
for our meetings that we had.
Trust and Obey
Words by the Rev. J. H. Sammis Music by D. B. Towner
" When we walk with the Lord,
In the light of his Word."
" Some years ago," says Professor Towner, mu-
sical director of the Moody Bible Institute, " Mr.
Moody was conducting a series of meetings in Brock-
ton, Massachusetts, and I had the pleasure of singing
for him there. One night a young man rose in a testi-
mony meeting and said, * I am not quite sure — ^but I
am going to trust, and I am going to obey.' I just
jotted that sentence down, and sent it with the little
story to the Rev. J. H. Sammis, a Presbyterian min-
ister. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born.
'Trust and obey,
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey,*
was written before the hymn was.'*
D. C. TOWNER
Of the Gospel Hymns 329
Trusting Jesus, That is All
Words by E. P. Stites Music by Ira D. Sankey
" Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way."
" About two years ago," writes a minister, '' I
visited a woman who was suffering from an incurable
disease ; but great as was her agony of body, her dis-
tress of mind was greater still. One day she said:
' The future is so dark, I dare not look forward at
" To my question, * Can't you trust yourself in
God's hands ? ' she replied : ' No, I can't leave myself
*' I repeated the hymn, ' Simply trusting ev'ry
day,' and especially dwelt on the refrain, ' Trusting
as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by.' * Ah,'
she said, ' I can trust him this moment ; is it like that? '
I then sang the hymn to her, and the change that came
over her was wonderful. She never lost this trust,
and she had the page in her hymn-book turned down,
that she might have the hymn read to her. After
many months of intense suffering she passed away,
'' simply trusting,' to the land where there shall be no
The words of this hymn were handed to Mr.
Moody at Chicago, in 1876, in the form of a news-
paper clipping. He gave them to me, and asked me
to write a tune for them. I assented, on condition
that he should vouch for the doctrine taught in the
verses, and he said he would.
330 Sankeys Story
Under His Wings
Words by the Rev. W. O. Gushing Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Under His wings I am safely abiding;
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild."
As Mr. Moody used to approach the seminary
building at Northfield, Massachusetts, to conduct the
morning worship, the young ladies there would join
in the singing of this hymn as he entered the room.
It was one of their popular hymns, as it was also of
the Estey Quartet made up of the leading singers of
The music of this hymn was among my later com-
A young man in a hospital in Western Massachu-
setts was once visited by a minister, and after he had
prayed, the invalid asked him to sing his favorite song,
*•' Under His Wings," saying that it had been the
means of his conversion. The hymn was sung, and
in a short time the listener had passed away to the
shelter under his Master's wings.
Words by James McGranahan Music by James McGranahan
" O what a Saviour that He died for me!
From condemnation He hath made me free."
" About twenty years ago," writes the Rev. James
Sprunt, of London, '' Mrs. S — one evening left her
home, near Blandford Square, to visit some of her
friends. She was disappointed to find that they were
not at home. She called upon others, but they also
Of the Gospel Hymns 331
had gone out. Vexed in mind and weary in body she
was returning to her home. Passing the doors of
Omega Hall, she was invited to the service then being
held inside. She entered, and enjoyed the service,
especially the singing of * O what a Saviour, that He
died for me ! ' This was good news to her soul. By
the Spirit of God she had been taught her lost condi-
tion. What was she to do? She had been told in
the Hall to repent and believe the Gospel, to accept
Christ as her Saviour, and to rest her soul on the fin-
ished work of Calvary's cross. She heard all this, but
did not obey. But when she retired that night her
mind could not rest. During her sleep she dreamed
that she was in the meeting and had again joined in
the hymn, * O, what a Saviour, that He died for me ! *
and with the dreamy singing she awoke to say, not
in a dream and not in unbelief, but with true faith in
God's Son, ' From condemnation He hath made me
Waiting and Watching for Me
Words by Marianne Heara Music by P. P. Bliss
" When my final farewell to the world I have said,
And gladly lie down to my rest."
At one of Mr. Moody's meetings in Fanvell Hall,
Chicago, this testimony was given on one occasion :
" For many years past I have been an infidel, and often
lectured to audiences in opposition to the Bible. To-
day, in the presence of all you who see me, I declare
that I am a converted man. I owe the softening of
my hitherto stony heart to a Gospel hymn sung by
Mr. Bliss, the refrain of which is, ' Will any one then,
332 Sankey's Story
at the beautiful gate, be waiting and watching for
me?' It reminded me so tenderly of my Christian
wife, parents, brothers, sisters and children who have
gone before me that it quite broke me down ; and now
Christ and the Word have become my best hope and
Welcome ! Wanderer, W^elcome !
Words by Horatius Bonar Music by Ira D. Sankey
" In the land of strangers,
Whither thou art gone."
"An editor of a paper in the South," says one
who was connected with the Florence Mission at the
time this incident occurred, " lost all through drink
and dissipation, and one day left his wife and five
children to look after themselves. Without bidding
them good-bye he left home, determined not to re-
turn until he was a man and could live a sober life.
In New York he sank still lower. One night he
pawned some of his clothing; but soon he was again
penniless and had no place to sleep. He then wrote
a note to his wife, bidding her good-bye, saying they
would never see each other again, as he had decided
to die that night. He was walking toward East
River when the sound of music attracted his attention.
He looked up and saw the sign, ' The Florence.' That
was the name of his oldest daughter. He listened; a
lady was singing a song his wife used to sing on Sun-
day afternoons at home, words that went to his heart,
' In the land of strangers, whither thou art gone,
Hear a far voice calling, "My son, My son!
Welcome! wanderer, welcome! Welcome back to home!
Thou hast wandered far away: Come home, come home! '"
Of the Gospel Hymns '^^'i^'^
The song, coupled with the name that was his daugh-
ter's, led him to think we were praying for him. He
came in, drunk as he was, and asked us to do so. He
became a convert and an earnest Christian worker, and
has held a position of responsibility in business for
many years, he and his family having been reunited."
Written for me by Dr. Bonar, in 1883, this hymn
became the favorite song of the choir of over fifteen
hundred voices, led by Percy S. Foster, at our meet-
ings in the great Convention Hall in Washington dur-
ing the winter of 1894.
What a Friend We have in Jesus
Words by Joseph Scriven Music by Charles C. Converse
" What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear."
Thousands have been cheered in time of trouble,
and so led nearer to Christ, by this sweet and simple
hymn ; for very few hymns have been more widely
published or more frequently sung. The author was
born in Dublin in 1820, and came to Canada when he
was twenty-five. There he lived a useful life until
his death in 1886. The young lady to whom he was
to be married was accidentally drowned on the eve
of their wedding day. This led him to consecrate his
life and fortune to the service of Christ. Though a
graduate of Trinity College and a man of refinement,
he chose humble duties. One afternoon he was seen
walking down the streets of Port Hope where he
lived, dressed as a plain workingman and carrying a
334 Sankeys Story
saw-horse and a saw on his mission of help. A citi-
zen, noticing that a friend recognized him, said :
" Do you know that man ? What is his name and
where does he Hve? I want some one to cut wood,
and I find it difficult to get a sober man to do the work
** But you can't get that man," was the reply.
" That is Mr. Scriven. He won't cut wood for you."
" Why not ? " queried the gentleman.
" Because you are able to pay for it. He only
saws wood for poor widows and sick people.'*
Until a short time before his death it was not
known that he had a poetic gift. A neighbor, sitting
up with him in his illness, happened upon a manuscript
copy of " What a friend we have in Jesus." Reading
it with great delight and questioning Mr. Scriven
about it, he said that he had composed it for his
mother, to comfort her in a time of special sorrow,
not intending that any one else should see it. Some
time later, when another Port Hope neighbor asked
him if it was true that he composed the hymn, his
reply was : '' The Lord and I did it between us."
Returning from England in 1875, I soon became
associated with P. P. Bliss in the publication of what
later became known as " Gospel Hymns No. i.'*
After we had given the completed compilation to our
publishers I chanced to pick up a small paper-covered
pamphlet of Sunday-school hymns, published at Rich-
mond, Virginia. I discovered this and sang it
through, and determined to have it appear in ** Gospel
Hymns." As the composer of the music was my
Of the Gospel Hymns 335
friend C. C. Converse, I withdrew from the collection
one of his compositions and substituted for it, '* What
a friend we have in Jesus." Thus the last hymn that
went into the book became one of the first in favor.
As published in the small Richmond hymnal, the
authorship of the words was erroneously attributed
to the great Scotch preacher and hymn-writer. Dr.
Horatius Bonar. We were in error, also, in assign-
ing the words to him. Some years afterward Dr.
Bonar informed us that he was not the author, and
that he did not know who wrote it. It was not until
six or eight years after the hymn first appeared in
our collection that we learned who the author really
What must it be to be There ?
Words by Mrs. Elizabeth Mills Music by George C. Stebbins
" We Speak of the land of the blest,
A country so bright and so fair."
" You see that I am still in the land of the
dying," wrote Philip Phillips, '* The Singing Pilgrim,"
shortly before his death at Delaware, Ohio. " Why
I linger so long is to me a problem. The precious
Saviour is more to me than I ever expected when I
was well. Often during the night seasons I have real
visions ; I am walking on the banks of the Beautiful
River, and getting glimpses of the bright Beyond. The
lines that come most often to me are these :
* We speak of the land of the blest,
A country so bright and so fair.
And oft are its glories confest.
But what must it be to be there?'
;^^6 Sankeys Story
Blessed be God ! I shall soon know. What a singing
time we will have when we get there!"
What Shall the Harvest Be?
Words by Emily S. Oakey Music by P. P. BUss
" Sowing the seed by the daylight fair,
Sowing the seed by the noonday glare,"
In the winter of 1876 Mr. Moody and I were
holding meetings in Chicago in a large building owned
by John V. Farwell, one of Mr. Moody's first and
most valued friends in that city. It was our custom
to hold temperance-meetings on Friday afternoons.
At one of these meetings the following testimony was
" At the breaking out of the war in 1861 I en-
listed in the army and was soon appointed a first lieu-
tenant. I was not yet eighteen and had never been
away from home influences. I had never tasted liquor
and did not know one card from another. The regi-
ment to which I was assigned was principally ofHcered
by young men, but many of them were old in dissi-
pation. This new life was attractive to me, and I
entered upon it with avidity. I was soon a steady
drinker and a constant card-player. I laughed at the
caution of the older heads, and asserted with all the
egotism of a boy that I could abandon my bad habits
at any time I wanted to. But I soon found that my
evil desires had complete control over my will. In
1870, being a physical wreck, I resigned, and deter-
mined to begin a new life. Time and again I failed,
and at last I gave up all hope and abandoned myself
to the wildest debauchery, speculating with reckless
Of the Gospel Hymns 2iZ7
indifference on how much longer my body could en-
dure the strain. In anticipation of sudden death 1
destroyed all evidences of my identity, so that my
friends might never know the dog's death I had died.
It was while in this condition that I one day wandered
into this Tabernacle and found a seat in the gallery.
There I sat in my drunken and dazed condition, look-
ing down upon well-dressed and happy people. I
concluded that it was no place for me, and was just
about to go out, when out of a perfect stillness rose the
voice of Mr. Sankey singing the song, * What Shall
the Harvest be ? * The words and music stirred me
with a strange sensation. I listened till the third verse
had been sung:
* Sowing the seed of a lingering pain,
Sowing the seed of a maddened brain,
Sowing the seed of a tarnished name,
Sowing the seed of eternal shame;
Oh, what shall the harvest be?'
These words pierced my heart. In desperation I
rushed downstairs and out into the snowy streets. I
soon found a saloon, where I asked for liquor to drown
my sorrow. On every bottle in the bar-room, in
words of burning fire, I could read * What shall the
harvest be ? ' When I took up my glass to drink I
read, written on it, * What shall the harvest be ? ' and
I dashed it to the floor and rushed out again into the
cold, dark night. The song still followed me wherever
T went, and finally drew me back to the Tabernacle
two weeks later. I found my way into the inquiry-
room and was spoken to by a kind-hearted, loving
brother. With his open Bible he pointed me to the
33^ Sankey's Story
Great Physician who had power to cure me and heal
me of my appetite, if I would only receive him.
Broken, weak, vile and helpless, I came to him, and
by his grace I was able to accept him as my Re-
deemer ; and I have come here to-day to bear my tes-
timony to the power of Jesus to save to the utter-
We were all deeply touched by this testimony,
and there was scarcely a dry eye in the audience. A
week later this man came into our waiting-room and
showed me a letter from his little daughter, which
read about as follows :
'' Dear Papa : Mamma and I saw in the Chicago
papers that a man had been saved in the meetings
there, who was once a lieutenant in the army, and I
told mamma that I thought it was my papa. Please
write to us as soon as you can, as mamma cannot be-
lieve that it was you."
This letter was received by the man at the gen-
eral post-office. The mother and their two children
were sent for, and with the help of Mr. Moody a home
was soon secured for them and employment for the
man. He was asked to go to many places to give his
experience, and he soon became so effective in his
addresses that his friends prevailed upon him to study
for the ministry. Eventually he became pastor of a
large church in the Northwest, where he labored for
a number of years till his death, in Evanston, Illinois,
in 1899. His name was W. O. Lattimore. He wrote
a hymn for me, entitled, " Out of the darkness into
light," which I set to music.
The author of " What shall the harvest be ? " who
Of the Gospel Hyynns 339
was bom at Albany, was a frail, delicate woman, al-
ways an invalid, never having known, as she once said,
an hour of health in all her life.
When Jesus Comes
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Blis3
" Down life's dark vale we wander,
Till Jesus comes."
One day in 1872 Mr. Bliss heard a conversation
between two of his friends, who were speaking on
the subject of the return of our Lord. One of the
ladies quoted a line from a work of Anna Shipton,
*•' This may be the day of His coming," and spoke of
the joy and comfort the thought gave her. Mr. Bliss
was much impressed, more deeply than ever before,
as to the reality of this subject; and a few days after
as he was coming downstairs from his room, still oc-
cupied with the thought of looking for Christ's ap-
pearing, he commenced singing, '' Down life's dark
vale we wander," the words and music coming to him
as he took the successive steps down the stairs. He
at once wrote it down just as we have it to-day in
*' Gospel Hymns."
When the Mists have Rolled Away
Words by Annie Herbert Music by Ira D. Sankey
"When the mists have rolled in splendor
From the beauty of the hills."
I sang this hymn for the first time in The Free
Trade Hall, in Manchester, in 1883, at one of Mr.
Moody's meetings. The service was held at eight
340 San key s Story
o'clock on a gloomy winter morning. The hall was
densely crowded and filled with mist, so much so that
the people could hardly be discerned at the farther end
of the hall. I felt the need of something to brighten
up the meeting, and then and there decided to launch
this new song. It was received with much enthusi-
asm, and at once became a favorite of Mr. Moody's,
and continued to be so until his death.
When the Roll is Called up Yonder
Words by J. M. Black Music by J. M. Black
" When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall
be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair."
" While a teacher in a Sunday-school and presi-
dent of a young people's society," says the author of
this hymn, " I one day met a girl, fourteen years old,
poorly clad and the child of a drunkard. She accepted
my invitation to attend the Sunday-school, and joined
the young people's society. One evening at a conse-
cration-meeting, when members answered the roll-
call by repeating Scripture texts, she failed to respond.
I spoke of what a sad thing it would be, when our
names are called from the Lamb's Book of Life, if
one of us should be absent ; and I said, ' O God, when
my own name is called up yonder, may I be there to
respond ! ' I longed for something suitable to sing
just then, but I could find nothing in the books. We
closed the meeting, and on my way home I was still
wishing that there might be a song that could be sung
on such occasions. The thought came to me, ' Why
don't you make it?' I dismissed the idea, thinking
Of the Gospel Hymns 341
that I could never write such a hymn. When I
reached my house my wife saw that I was deeply trou-
bled, and questioned me, but I made no reply. Then
the words of the first stanza came to me in full.
In fifteen minutes more I had composed the other
two verses. Going to the piano, I played the music
just as it is found to-day in the hymn-books, note for
note, and I have never dared to change a single word
or a note of the piece since."
Where is My Boy to-Night?
Words by Robert Lowry Music by Robert Lowry
" Where is my wandering boy to-night —
The boy of my tenderest care?"
A mother came to me in Boston and asked me if
I would try to find her wandering boy in California
when I should go there with Mr. Moody to hold meet-
ings. I promised to do what I could. For several
weeks, as opportunity presented itself, I searched the
cheap boarding-houses for the young man. At last
I found him in the slums of the city and asked him
to come to our meetings. He refused, saying that
he was not fit to be seen there ; but after much per-
suasion he came. One evening I sang : " Where is
my wandering boy," and prefaced it with a few re-
marks, saying that I knew of one dear mother in the
East who was praying for her wandering boy to-night.
This, together with the song, touched the young man's
heart, and he found his way into the inquiry-room,
where, with my open Bible, I was enabled by God's
grace to lead him into the light. I wrote to his mother
and told her that her boy had been found, and that
342 Sankey's Story
he was now a professed Christian. She sent me money
to pay his railway fare back to Boston, and in a short
time he had reached home and received a hearty wel-
come. He soon found employment, and became a use-
ful citizen, and has since been a follower of Christ.
" I heard Chancellor Sims relate," states the Rev.
H. B. Gibbud, " that he was once traveling with a man
from the West who was on his way to visit his father,
whom he had left years before when he was a boy.
There had been trouble between them, and the father
had told the son that he could go. In his anger the
boy said that he would, and that he would never re-
turn. He had gone West, where he became a wealthy
ranch owner; but he had never written to his father
and had held the anger in his heart toward him all
those years. Then he told the Chancellor how it was
that he was now returning. A train on which he had
been traveling had been snowed in, and people living
near had made up a load of provisions and taken them
to the imprisoned passengers. Then it was discov-
ered that Mr. Sankey was on board, and at the peo-
ple's request he came out on the steps and sang:
* Where is my wandering boy ? ' That song touched
this man's heart, led him to God, and he was now
going East to seek reconciliation with his parents."
A wayward boy was brought by a friend to the
evening service of the Rev. J. H. Byers, of Stanberry,
Missouri. Having learned something of his condition,
Mr. Byers asked the leader of the choir to sing as a
solo : " Where is my wandering boy to-night ? " which
Of the Gospel Hymns 343
he did with great feeling. The boy was converted,
the next evening he united with the church, and he
has continued to be an active, praying worker ever
since. The young man's parents were devoted Chris-
tions. On the same night and until the next after-
noon, for what was an unknown reason to them, they
were led to pray most earnestly for their lost boy.
During the time when the prayer-meeting was being
held, they were comforted, and believed that they
would hear good news. In a few hours they received
a telegram that their boy was saved. At the meeting
where this hymn was sung there were present the
parents of two other boys who had left their homes,
and as the solo was sung they prayed that their boys
might be saved and brought home. In a few days let-
ters were received from those boys, telling their par-
ents that they were saved on the night when the solo
was sung and the prayers were sent up for them.
The author of this hymn, which has done more
to bring back wandering boys than any other, became
a follower of Christ at the age of seventeen. After a
score of years in different pastorates he accepted the
professorship of letters in his alma mater, Bucknell
University, together with the pastorate of another
church. This double service he performed for six
years, and then moved to Plainfield, New Jersey,
where he lived until his death, in 1899, at the age of
seventy-three. Dr. Lowry will continue to preach the
Gospel in his hymns long after his sermons have been
forgotten. Many of his hymns were written after
the Sunday evening service, when his body was weary
but his mind refused to rest.
344 Sankeys Story
Whiter Than Snow
Words by James Nicholson Music by Wm. G. Fischer
"Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul."
" In the spring of 1893," relates the Rev. Mr.
Bradley, a Methodist minister in Utah, '* a lady who
had come from Ireland as a Mormon immigrant sev-
eral years before, was brought under very pungent
conviction of sin, which lasted for several days. She
attended our services several times, but seemed to get
no relief. On the following Monday morning, while
she was about her work as usual, the burden had be-
come almost unbearable. As she worked she began to
sing, * Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole ;' and
when she came to the closing words, ' To those who
sought Thee, Thou never saidst No,' a feeling came
over her like a flash, she says, that He would not say
* No ' to her. From that moment the burden was
lifted and she was filled with joy."
Mr. Fischer, the composer, was a resident of Phil-
adelphia, and in 1876 was the leader of the Moody
and Sankey choir in the great building at Thirteenth
and Market streets, in that city.
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"'Whosoever heareth,' shout, shout the sound!
Send the blessed tidings all the world around."
Henry Moorehouse, the English evangelist,
preached seven sermons on John 3: 16 in Chicago
during the winter of 1869-70. Those sermons made
Of the Gospel Hymns 345
a very deep impression on Mr. Bliss, Mr. bloody and
others, and from that time a new and clearer view
of the love of God was experienced by many who
went forth to preach — perhaps not less about the law,
but surely more about the boundless love of God in
Jesus Christ. As an outcome of this experience the
hymn was written at that time. In singing it. Bliss
put special emphasis on the word " whosoever." So he
helped many a man to believe in the magnificent offer
of salvation, and — like Richard Baxter, the famous
London preacher — to praise the Lord. " I thank
God," he said, " for the word ' whosoever.' If God
had said that there was mercy for Richard Baxter, I
am so vile a sinner that I would have thought he
meant some other Richard Baxter; but when he says
* whosoever,' I know that it includes me, the worst of
all Richard Baxters."
Why not To-night?
Words by Eliza Reed Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Oh, do not let the Word depart,
And close thine eyes against the light."
A tram-car man was passing along the broadway
at Deptford, England, where some Christians were
singing at an open-air meeting,
" Oh, do not let the Word depart,
Nor close thine eyes against the light;
Poor sinner, harden not thy heart.
Thou would'st be saved — Why not to-night?"
He felt the force of the appeal and hastened home to
pray. Though he knelt down and plead earnestly,
no light, or peace, or rest came. A fortnight passed
346 Sankey's Story
away in this state of uncertainty, and on the following
Sunday he was so miserable that he could not go to
his work on the tram-car. In the evening he went to
a chapel and remained for the prayer-meeting. The
leader of the open-air meeting, in which the hymn was
sung a fortnight before, happened to be present, and
he saw the young man weeping and covering his face
with his handkerchief. Praying the Lord to give him
a word for this troubled soul, the leader asked : " Are
you trusting Christ ? " " No, but I am seeking Him,"
the man replied. And there he found Him, to the joy
of his soul. Thus, in the providence of God, the
Christian worker who was the cause of producing the
anxiety, without knowing at the time any of the cir-
cumstances, was also the means of removing it. This
is but one of the numerous instances of the usefulness
of " Why not To-night ? " in evangelistic meetings.
Windows open toward Jerusalem
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"Do you see the Hebrew captive kneeling,
At morning, noon and night, to pray?"
While attending a Sunday service at the State
Prison in Joliet, Illinois, where he had gone to sing,
P. P. Bliss heard H. G. Spafford of Chicago, who
wrote "It is well with my soul," address the prisoners,
and use Daniel in Babylon as an illustration of Gospel
truth, asking the question in closing, " Are your win-
dows open toward Jerusalem ? " This suggested the
hymn to Mr. BHss.
About a month before his death Mr. Bliss came to
Chicago to attend a convention called by Mr. Moody,
Of the Gospel Hymns 347
and there, at a morning meeting, where over a thou-
sand ministers were present, he sang, " Are your win-
dows open toward Jerusalem ? " with intense spiritual
feeling. One minister cried out : " God bless Mr.
Bliss for that song ! " His face fairly shone as he
sang, and half of those present were in tears under
the influence of the song. Mr. Moody, filled with
emotion, leaned his head forward upon the desk. It
was the last time he heard his beloved friend and
I often used to sing this song as a solo in connec-
tion with Mr. Moody's lectures on the prophet Daniel.
Wonderful Words of Life
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
** Sing them over again to me,
Wonderful words of Life."
" While visiting an old man, who suffered much
from rheumatic gout,'' narrates a Methodist minister
of Birmingham, England, " I was led to start up,
' Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of
Life.' When I had finished and while the tears were
coursing down his cheeks, he exclaimed, * Oh, sing
them over again to me, those wonderful words of life !
for they take my pain away.' And so I repeated that
God-sent message to the poor old sufferer, who soon
afterward passed away to the land where there is no
" On another occasion this hymn became very
useful to me. I was preaching to a crowded audience
at Dartmouth on a Sunday evening, when a young
man fell from his seat near the pulpit, and the service
348 Sankey's Story
was in danger because of the confusion. I started
singing, ' Wonderful Words of Life,' in which the
whole congregation joined heartily. By the time we
had sung the hymn through the yoimg man had re-
covered consciousness and found his seat again, lis-
tening earnestly to my sermon on the theme, ' In God's
Word there are spirit and life.' Those present thought
his case a living illustration of the song and sermon.'*
Ye Must be Born Again
Words by W. T. Sleeper Music by George C. Stebbins
"A ruler once came to Jesus by night,
To ask Him the way of salvation and light;"
" One evening in November, 1886," says the
superintendent of a boys' school, " I was walking
along a street in St. Joseph, Missouri, when I saw be-
fore me a great crowd gathered around a door. On
coming nearer I saw that it was at the entrance of
the hall of the Young Men's Christian Association.
In the doorway stood some young men, singing. Just
as I came near enough to hear they began to sing :
* A ruler once came to Jesus by night.
To ask Him the way of salvation and light;
The Master made answer in words true and plain,
Ye must be born again, again.*
When they came to the chorus the sword of the Spirit
entered my soul. It seemed to me that I was brought
face to face with the Lord Jesus. There on the street,
while that song was being sung, I asked him to teach
me how to be born again — and he did it. I accepted
an invitation to the service for the evening, and after
that service, for the first time in my life, I publicly
Of the Gospel Hymns 349
acknowledged Christ as my Saviour. I have always
considered that it was through the influence of that
hymn that my soul was awakened. Many times have
I thanked God for the song, as well as for the courage
he gave to his disciples to sing it in that public way."
Many years ago an English evangelist sent me
this incident : " We were holding evangelistic meet-
ings," he said, '' in a town in Perthshire, and there
was one who helped us more effectually than we
were at first aware of. I hardly know how we be-
came acquainted with ' Blind Aggie ;' for, besides
being old and blind, she was a great sufferer and could
seldom creep beyond her doorstep. We were
strangers in the place and no one told us of her; yet
in the providence of God one of our party was led to
visit her little room, discovering what a saint she was
and how deeply interested in all she had heard about
our intended meetings. She helped us mightily by
prayer, and as far as she could by individual work.
Lodging in the same flat with blind Aggie was a seam-
stress — a poor, giddy, foolish girl — in whom she took
a deep interest. With great difficulty she persuaded
this girl to attend one of our meetings. While the
girl was at the meeting Aggie was praying for a bless-
ing upon her; and when she returned Aggie asked
many questions, but to her sorrow could not find that
any impression had been made on the young woman's
heart. The good old woman induced the thoughtless
girl to go again, and when she returned the second
time it was late, and blind Aggie had already gone to
bed. But the girl burst into the old woman's room
350 Sankey's Story
crying : ' Oh, Aggie, where are you ? I must tell you ! '
' Well, dear, what is it ? Come and tell me.' * Oh,
but I want a light first, I canna tell ye in the dark.'
Though Aggie never had use for a candle, she told,
the girl where to find one. After it was lighted the
girl burst forth from a full heart : ' Oh, Aggie, woman,
I didna laugh this time! They sang a hymn, and it
kept saying, ' Ye must be born again,' and it just laid
hold on me, Aggie, and oh! I'm born again! Jesus
has taken me, Aggie ! ' "
" On a Sunday evening," relates a young lady of
Dunfermline, Scotland, " I went with a companion to
take a walk in the public park, when our attention was
drawn to an open-air meeting. While we were stand-
ing there listening, the hymn 'Ye Must be Born Again'
was given out and sung. Two lines of the last verse,
* A dear one in heaven thy heart yearns to see
At the beautiful gate may be watching for thee,*
took a firm hold on me, and I felt that I must be born
again, for I never could get there of myself. That
night I went to the meeting and decided for Christ,
and ever since that hymn has been very dear to me."
Yet There is Room
Words by Horatius Bonar Music by Ira D. Sankey
" ' Yet there is room!' The Lamb's bright hall of song,
With its fair glory, beckons thee along,"
Dr. Bonar wrote this hymn at my request. I had
been singing Tennyson's great poem, "Late, late, so
late, and dark the night and chill,
Of the Gospel Hymns 35 1
Great Britain, in 1873-74, and, on asking permission
of the owners of the copyright to use it in my collec-
tion of songs, was refused. I then requested Dr.
Bonar to write a hymn that should cover much the
same ground. " Yet there is room " was the result.
It was one of the first hymns for which I wrote music.
It always had a very solemnizing effect on the meet-
ings, especially when the last lines were sung : " No
room, no room — oh, woful cry, ' No room.' "
Yield Not to Temptation
Words by H. R. Palmer Music by H. R. Palmer
" Yield not to temptation,
For yielding is sin;"
Mr. Palmer says : " This song was an inspiration.
I was at work on the dry subject of * Theory ' when
the complete idea flashed upon me, and I laid aside
the theoretical work and hurriedly penned both words
and music as fast as I could write them. I submitted
them to the criticism of a friend afterward, and some
changes were made in the third stanza, but the first
two are exactly as they came to me. The music was
first written in A flat ; but I soon saw that B flat was
better, and for many years it has appeared in that key.
I am reverently thankful it has been a power for good.''
A friend contributes this incident : " Twenty
years ago, when the State prison at Sing Sing, New
York, had women as well as men within its walls, a
lady used to visit the women's department. Every
Sunday afternoon the inmates were permitted to come
out and sit in the corridor to hear her talk, and to sing
352 Sankey's Story
hymns with her. One day some of the women re-
belled agamst an order of the matron, and a terrible
scene followed. Screams, threats, ribaldry and pro-
fanity filled the air. It was said, by those who knew,
that an uprising among the women prisoners was
worse and more difficult to quell than one among the
men. The matron hastily sent to the men's depart-
ment for help. Suddenly a voice rose clear and strong
above the tumult, singing a favorite song of the pris-
' Yield not to temptation.
For yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you
Some other to win.
Fight manfully onward,
Dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus,
He'll carry you through.'
There was a lull ; then one after another joined in the
sacred song ; and presently, with one accord, all formed
into line and marched quietly to their cells."
A minister who at the time was laboring there,
writes me that when Dr. Somerville, of Scotland, and
Mr. Varley, of England, were in New Zealand, in the
seventies, in connection with Young Men's Christian
Association work, many young men found strength for
life's temptations in the first lines of this hymn, which
was sung at every meeting for months.
" Some twenty-four years ago," writes James A.
Watson, of Blackburn, England, " the Presbyterian
church of England was preparing to issue a new book
Of the Gospel Hymns 353
of praise, *The Church Praise/ now in use. I was
asked to send in a suitable list of hymns for the young.
Among the number I sent ' Yield not to temptation/
but to my regret, when I got a draft copy of the pro-
posed hymn-book, that hymn was not in it. Three or
four Sundays afterward I was requested by the
teacher of the infant class in the St. George's School,
where I have been superintendent for over forty years,
to visit a dying boy. I found him unconscious. All
that his widowed mother could tell me about him was
that he had kept saying : ' He'll carry me through.*
When I asked her if she knew what he meant, she told
me that she did not. She did not attend church or
school. I told her that it was the chorus of a hymn,
and pointed out how the good Shepherd was carrying
her little boy through the valley ; how he was gather-
ing her lamb in his loving arms. I also told her that
the Saviour would carry her through her trouble,
would comfort, strengthen and keep her, and at last
bring her to the happy land where death-divided ones
will meet to part no more. I was so much impressed
by the incident that I wrote to the convener of the
hymn-book committee, and pleaded for the insertion
of the hymn in the new book. The committee put it
in, and for twenty-three years the young people of
our Presbyterian church have been able to sing it when
wanted, all through the comfort it had been to a little
dying boy, the only son of a widow, on a back street
JUST A WORD ABOUT
OTHER WELL KNOWN HYMNS
CHARLES M. ALEXANDER
JUST A WORD ABOUT OTHER
WELL KNOWN HYMNS
A Song of Heaven and Homeland
Words by Eben Rexford Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Somerimes I hear strange music,
Like none e'er heard before."
In the year 1901 Mr. Eben Rexford, editor of
The Ladies' Home Journal landscape and gardening
department, wrote me, asking a donation of fifty
copies of Gospel Hymns for a poor church, saying he
would give me twenty new hymns in exchange. I
sent the books and received the hymns, among which
I found " A Song of Heaven and Homeland," which
I soon set to music, and which I consider one of
my best compositions. It was first published in
The Ladies' Home Journal.
All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Words by E. Perronet Music by Oliver Holden, 1792
"All hail the power of Jesus* name!
Let angels prostrate fall."
A man in England, who had been a happy Chris-
tian, began gradually to lose his faith, and at last
boldly avowed the infidelity that had for a long time
been quietly slumbering within. To his wife, who
still loved and clung to the Saviour, this was indeed
a blow, and her heart was torn at the thought that
one she tenderly loved, and with whom she had often
360 Sankey's Story
held sweet counsel, should now turn from the truth
she held to be priceless, and overturn the faith he
once sought to uphold. The husband was soon taken
very sick, and it was evident to the anxious wife that
the sickness was unto death. She pleaded with and
for the dying one that he might again confess Christ,
in whom he had once been so happy, but no relief
came to her distressed soul. One day the dying man
was heard to utter a faint cry, and his wife caught
the words, " Bring, bring." Thinking that he de-
sired a cooling drink, she brought him what she sup-
posed he wanted, but he waved his hand, and again
uttered the words, " Bring, bring." The wife was
at a loss to understand what could be the meaning,
when he, with a final struggle, as if he had gathered
all the remaining energy into one last effort, ex-
"Bring forth the royal diadem
And crown him Lord of all."
And he departed to join that company that wait
that morning when the redeemed shall be gathered in.
All the Way My Saviour Leads Me
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by the Rev, Robert Lowry
"All the way my Saviour leads me;
What have I to ask beside?"
Fanny Crosby had been the recipient of a very
unexpected temporal blessing, and while seated in
her quiet room, meditating on the goodness of God
to^ her and all his ways, this hymn flashed into her
mind. It was written out and given to Robert
Lowry, who wrote the fine tune which has given it
wings, and carried it into millions of homes and
Of the Gospel Hymns 361
Awake, My Soul
Words by Joel Barlow Music by A. R. Reinagle
"Awake, my soul! to sound His praise,
Awake, my harp! to sing."
This is Joel Barlow's version of the io8th Psalm.
In 1785, by the request of the General Association
of Connecticut, he corrected and revised Watts' ver-
sion of the Psalms, supplying such as had been omit-
ted by Watts and adapting it to American thought
Awake, My Soul, to Joyful Lays
Worda by Samuel Medley
"Awake, my soul, to joyful lays,
And sing thy great Redeemer's praise."
This hymn with its fervent, joyful tone, its
touching refrain and the peculiar old melody united
to it, has been greatly esteemed in this country in
days gone by. It first appeared in 1782, in Meyer's
collection of hymns for use of Lady Huntingdon's
church. Samuel Medley, the author of the hymn,
was visiting at the house of a Mr. Phillips in London,
and asked the daughter of his host to bring him
some paper and ink. With these he retired to his
room and presently came back with this hymn writ-
ten. Mr. Medley was pastor of a Baptist church in
Liverpool for many years. He was born in 1738
and died 1799.
Close to Thee
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by S. J. Vail
"Thou my everlasting portion.
More than friend or life to me."
This is another popular hymn, written by Fanny
T. Crosby, and set to music by Silas Jones Vail, who
362 Sankey's Story
was born at Southold, Long Island, N. Y., October 6,
1818. He was a hatter by trade, but wrote a large
number of songs for Philip Phillips, who was the
first to publish any of Vail's compositions, among
which may be mentioned, ** Gates Ajar," " Nothing
But Leaves," and " Scatter Seeds of Kindness." He
died in Brooklyn, N. Y., May 20, 1883.
The late Silas J. Vail, having composed this
tune, brought it to Fanny Crosby, and requested her
to write words for it. As he was playing it for her
on the piano, she said : " That refrain says : ' Close to
Thee ; Close to Thee/ " Mr. Vail agreed that that
was true, and it was agreed that it should be a hymn
entitled "Close to Thee."
Come, Ye Disconsolate
Words by Thomas Moore Music by Samuel Webbe
"Come ye disconsolate! where'er ye languish,
Come to the mercy-seat, fervently kneel."
Thomas Moore, of Dublin, the friend of Lord
Byron, wrote some thirty-two songs, published in
1848, which have been united to popular airs of var-
ious nations. " Come, Ye Disconsolate " has minis-
tered to the soothing of many a troubled heart, and
often guided the weary soul to the mercy seat, where
alone the accusing conscience may lay its guilty bur-
den down and realize, " Earth hath no sorrow that
heaven cannot heal."
Free from the Law
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"Free from the law, oh, happy condition,
Jesus hath bled, and there is remission." [
" What shall I give my husband for a Christmas
present?" asked Mrs. Bliss of a friend, just before
Of the Gospel Hymns 363
Christmas, 1871, and at the suggestion of this friend,
she purchased and presented Mr. BHss with a bound
volume of a monthly English periodical called
" Things New and Old." From reading in this book
something in connection with Romans 8, and He-
brews 10, this glorious gospel song was suggested
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Words by W. Williams Music by Wm. L. Viner
"Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land."
Written by William Williams, the sweet singer,
who was known as the " Watts of Wales." It was
first published in Welsh in 1745. Later it appeared
in English under the title, '' A favorite hymn of Lady
Huntingdon's young collegians."
This hymn was one of the most popular in our
collection, when Mr. Moody and I were holding
meetings in Wales.
Hear the Call
Words by W. F. Sherwin Music by W. F. Sherwin
"Lo! the day of God is breaking;
See the gleaming from afar!"
Mr. Sherwin was of great assistance in our meet-
ings in Boston in 1876. Early in his life Mr. Sher-
win manifested decided musical abilities, but being
a poor boy, he had to struggle hard to obtain the
instruction he so much desired. However, at the
age of fifteen he was the leader of a large chorus
choir. At twenty-five he was well-known at New
England musical conventions. He was brought up a
Congregationalist, but while having charge of the
364 Sankefs Story
music in a Baptist church in Albany, he adopted that
denomination. He was an ardent Sunday-school
worker, and had part in the preparation of many
hymn and song books for use in Sunday-schools and
in the temperance work. He was born in Buckland,
Mass., March 14, 1826, and died at his home in Dor-
chester, Mass., April 14, 1888.
Hold Thou My Hand
Words by Grace J. Frances Music by Hubert P. Main
"Hold Thou my hand: so weak I am and helpless,
I dare not take one step without Thy aid."
Written by Grace J. Frances, which is a nom de
plume of Fanny Crosby. Hubert P. Main wrote the
music. It became a great favorite of Mrs. C. H.
Spurgeon, who asked permission to republish it in
her collection of hymns.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
Words by Reginald Heber, D.D. Music by The Rev. John B. Dykes
"Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;"
This majestic hymn was written by Bishop Heber,
who was born in Cheshire, England, 1783, and edu-
cated at Oxford. He served in the church at Hodnet
for about twenty years, when he was appointed Bishop
of Calcutta, East India. He wrote fifty-seven hymns,
which were published by his widow in 1842. Heber
died 1826 in the prime of his life.
The tune ''Nicsea" was composed by Dr. John
Bacchus Dykes for this hymn, and is one of the best
of his compositions. Nicsea was the place in Asia
Minor where the first Ecumenical Council was held
in the year 325, and it was there that the doctrine of
Of the Gospel Hymns 365
the Holy Trinity was promulgated, declaring the eter-
nal sonship of Christ, and his equality with the father.
Dr. Dykes was born at Kingston-upon-HuU, in
1823; and was a graduate of Cambridge. He wrote
many excellent tunes, and did much to elevate the
congregational psalmody of England. He died 1876.
I am Thine, O Lord
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"I am Thine, O Lord,
I have heard Thy voice,"
This popular and useful consecration hymn was
written by Fanny Crosby and set to music by W. H.
Doane, and has been largely adopted by Christian
Endeavor societies throughout this country and
Fanny Crosby was visiting Mr. W. H. Doane,
in his home in Cincinnati, Ohio. They were talking
together about the nearness of God, as the sun was
setting and the evening shadows were gathering
around them. The subject so impressed the well-
known hymn-writer, that before retiring she had
written the words to this hymn, which has become
one of the most useful she has ever written. The
music by Mr. Doane so well fitted the words that the
hymn has become a special favorite wherever the
Gospel Hymns are known.
I Will Sing of My Redeemer
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by James McGranahan
"I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me."
This beautiful hymn w^as written by P. P. Bliss
and set to music by James McGranahan, and is one
366 Sankefs Story
of his most famous compositions. When Mr. Bliss
so sadly met his death in the railroad disaster at Ash-
tabula, Ohio, December 29, 1876, Mr. McGranahan
was selected to take his place as evangeHstic singer
in connection with Major Whittle, and much good
was accomplished through their united efforts. He
wrote much of the music in the Gospel Hymns, of
which he was one of the joint compilers.
I Will Sing the Wondrous Story
Words by F. W. Rawley Music by Peter Bilhorn
"I will sing the wondrous story,
Of the Christ who died for me."
The words of this hymn were written by F. H.
Rawley, and the music by Peter Bilhorn, from whom
I secured it in 1887 for use in Gospel Hymns and
Sacred Songs and Solos. The hymn commenced in
its original form, " CanH you sing the wondrous
story," from which I changed it to " / will sing."
It was greatly blessed in our meetings in Aber-
deen, Glasgow, and other places in Great Britain,
many persons testifying to having been benefited by
In the Cross of Christ I Glory
Words by Sir John Bowring Music by Ithamar Conkey
"In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o'er the wrecks of time."
Sir John Bowring, a native of Exeter, England,
is the author of this strengthening hymn. He was
nominally a Unitarian, but in fact he was a man who
lived and died possessed of a clear, strong evan-
Used by Permission
WM. J. KIRKPATRICK
Of the Gospel Hymns 369
gelical faith in the virtue of the blood of the atone-
ment. Before he was sixteen he had mastered five
languages without the aid of a teacher. He was en-
gaged in the woolen trade with his father, but early
took to literary pursuits, and distinguished himself
therein. He was twice elected to Parliament. In
1828 the University of Groningen conferred upon
him the degree of LL. D. In 1845 he was appointed
English consul at Canton, China, and he finally be-
came Commander-in-Chief and Vice Admiral of
Hong Kong. He was knighted by the Queen in 1854.
He died in 1872, with peace in his heart and in the
hope of the resurrection of the just. On his tomb-
stone is inscribed, " In the Cross of Christ I Glory."
Sir John Bowring was one of the most remark-
able men of his day. He was born 1792, his father
being a manufacturer of woolen goods for China
and other distant countries. When only six years
of age Sir John had mastered six languages, and be-
fore long he knew no less than thirteen. At the age
of forty-three he was elected to the Parliament, and
after filling many positions of honor, both home and
abroad, he was knighted in 1854. He wrote many
excellent hymns, besides volumes of political, eco-
nomic and religious essays, which caused him to be-
come a member of nearly every learned society in
Europe. He lived to be over eighty years of age,
and died in peace and joyful hope of the resurrection.
On his tombstone may be found the first line of this,
his immortal hymn,
"In the cross of Christ I glory."
The tune "Rathbun,'* by Ithamar Conkey, of
New York City, fits the words splendidly. Mr. Con-
key was born 1815. He was a noted bass singer, and
for a long time connected with the Calvary Church,
New York. He died 1867.
370 Sankey's Story
Words by Priscilla J. Owens Music by Wm. J. Kirkpatrick
"We have heard the joyful sound;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!"
Mr. Kirkpatrick is a resident of Philadelphia, and
was associated with John R. Sweeney in the pubHca-
tion of several hymn-books. He is the author of
many popular hymns, " Jesus saves," and '' Meekly
wait and murmur not," perhaps being the best known
of his compositions. Both of these hymns were ex-
tensively used in our meetings, and greatly blessed
to many souls.
Words by the Rev. W. O. Gushing Music by G. F. Root
"When he cometh, when he cometh,
To make up his jewels."
This hymn was written by the Rev. W. O. Gush-
ing and set to music by G. F. Root, and is one of the
most popular children's hymns in the world. He
wrote many hymns for me, among the most popular
of which may be mentioned, *' Hiding in Thee " and
" There'll be no Dark Valley."
The Rev. William Orcott Gushing was born in
Hingham, Mass., 1823, and was converted while yet a
child. He entered the ministry, and continued therein
for many years, until he partly lost the power of
speech. This caused him to give up preaching, but
the prayer which he made, '' Lord still give me some-
thing to do for thee ! " was wonderfully answered,
and he was permitted to write hymns for children,
many of which have been blessed to tens of thou-
sands throughout the world, whom his voice as a
preacher could never have reached.
" Jewels " takes rank with " Gome to the
Of the Gospel Hymns 371
Saviour " and " I am so glad that Jesus loves me/'
two of the most popular children's hymns in the
world. The Rev. Mr. Gushing died 1902.
A minister returning from Europe on an English
steamer visited the steerage, and after some friendly
talk, proposed a singing service — if something could
be started that " everybody " knew — for there were
hundreds of emigrants there from nearly every part
" It'll have to be an American tune, then,'^ said
the steerage-master ; " try * His Jewels.' "
The minister struck out at once with the melody
and words —
"When he cometh, when he cometh,"
and scores of the poor, half-fed multitude joined
voices with him. Many probably recognized the
rnusic of the old glee, and some had heard the sweet
air played in the church steeples at home. Other
voices chimed in, male and female, catching the air
and sometimes the words — they were so easy and so
many times repeated — and the volume of song in-
creased, till the singing minister stood in the midst
of an international concert, the most novel that he
ever led. (Theron Brown's Story of the Hymns and
George Frederick Root, Doctor of Music, the
author of the tune, was born in Sheffield, Mass., 1820,
and died 1895.
Words by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe Music by George F. Root
"Knocking, knocking, who is there?
Waiting, waiting, oh, how fair!"
This hymn was written by Mrs. H. B. Stowe, the
well-known author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Mrs.
Stowe wrote several hymns, but this is perhaps the
372 Sankefs Story
most popular. The tune was written by George F.
More Love to Thee, O Christ
Words by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss Music by W. H. Doane
"More love to Thee, O Christ!
More love to Thee."
This favorite hymn was written by Mrs. Eliza-
beth Payson Prentiss, who was born in Portland, Me.,
1818, and in 1845 became the wife of Rev. George
L. Prentiss, D. D., who afterward became Professor
of Theology at the Union Seminary, New York City.
The hymn was written in 1869, ^.nd first printed on
a ily-sheet. It became a useful revival hymn in the
years that followed. Mrs. Prentiss, who wrote many
well-known poems, was an invalid the greater part
of her life, and died in 1878.
The music was composed by W. H. Doane.
My Mother*s Prayer
Words by T. C. O'Kane Music by T. C. O'Kane
"As I wandered round the homestead,
Many a dear familiar spot."
" My Mother's Prayer " was sung at nearly all
our temperance meetings, both in England and
America, and many souls were led to Christ by the
tender memories awakened by this hymn. It was
first published by Philip Phillips, in his book, " Dew
Drops." A minister writes the following:
" What our mothers sang to us when they put
us to sleep is singing yet. We may have forgotten
the words ; but they went into the fiber of our soul,
and will forever be a part of it. It is not so much
what you formally teach your children as what you
Of the Gospel Hymms 373
sing to them. A hymn has wings and can fly every-
whither. One hundred and fifty years after you are
dead, and * Old Mortality ' has worn out his chisel in
re-cutting your name on the tombstone, your great-
grandchildren will be singing the song which this
afternoon you sing to your little ones gathered about
your knee. There is a place in Switzerland where,
if you distinctly utter your voice, there come back
ten or fifteen echoes, and every Christian song sung
by a mother in the ear of her child shall have ten
thousand echoes coming back from all the gates of
heaven. Oh, if mothers only knew the power of this
sacred spell, how much oftener the little ones would
be gathered, and all our homes would chime with the
songs of Jesus ! "
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"More holiness give me.
More strivings within."
This hymn, perhaps one of the most beautiful of
all his compositions, was written by Mr. BHss, 1873,
after he had given up his musical convention work
entirely and entered fully upon his lifework for the
Master. It seems that it was only after he had given
up everything and committed himself and all his gifts
to the Lord's service, that he was enabled to write
such a hymn as this.
Bliss called the hymn " My Prayer," but thou-
sands in every Christian land have made it their
prayer as well, and it will continue to voice a heart-
felt want of millions in years to come.
The hymn was a special favorite with Mr.
Moody, and was often quoted by him as a hymn that
would live in the church of God, while the children
of God continue to call upon his name in prayer.
Mr. Bliss was at the time of his death a member
374 Sankey's Story
of the First Congregational Church of Chicago. The
pastor, the Rev. Dr. E. P. Goodwin, in an address on
the death of Mr. and Mrs. BHss, referred to the singing
of this hymn as follows : '' On one of the last occa-
sions when he was with us, on a flying visit to our
city, made during his work as an evangelist, he came
in late one evening and sat at the rear of the church.
Espying him, I called him forward to sing the hymn,
* My Prayer.' He struck the keys on the piano,
stooped forward, and, reading the words in the latter
part of the first verse, ' More joy in his service,' said,
* I do not think I can sing that as a prayer any more ;
it seems to me that I have as much joy in serving the
blessed Master as it is possible for me to bear.' "
Near the Cross
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by W. H. Doane
"Jesus, keep me near the Cross,
There a precious fountain."
Like many other hymns by this author, the words
were written to a tune already composed by Mr.
Doane, and at his request. The words and tune are
remarkably well adapted to each other, and the hymn
will continue to be used long after many more pre-
tentious ones have been forgotten.
None of Self and All of Thee
Words by the Rev. Theo. Monod Music by James McGranahan
"Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be."
The words of this excellent hymn were written
by the Rev. Theodore Monod, of Paris, in whose
church we held meetings. Mr. Monod acted as inter-
preter for Mr. Moody. These meetings were well
Of the Gospel Hyimis 377
attended, and many professed conversion. As we left
Paris Mr. Moody remarked that if he was a young
man again he would give his life to France.
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus
Words by the Rev. Robert Lowry Music by the Rev. Robert Lowry
**What can wash away my stain?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus."
This very simple hymn was first introduced at a
camp meeting in (Dcean Grove, N. J., where it imme-
diately took possession of the people. It has been
found very useful in inquiry and prayer-meetings.
O Child of God
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by Ira D. Sankey
"O child of God, wait patiently
When dark thy path may be."
During the summer of 1886, Fanny Crosby was
my guest at Northfield. One day I composed this
tune, and said to her:
" Why not write a poem for this tune to-night ? "
The spirit of poetry did not seem to be upon her, and
'' No, I cannot do it at present." The following
day we went for a drive, and expected her to go with
us, but to our astonishment, she asked to be excused,
saying that she had something she wished to do.
After we had gone, a number of students came in
and had a pleasant chat with Fannv Crosby, and after
they had gone she sat down at the piano and played
my tune over, and the words of the hymn came to
her as they now stand. Upon our return she hastened
to meet us, and recited the verses to me. Fanny
Crosby spent eight summers with us at Northfield,
and on a recent visit here she told me that some of
her happiest days were those at Northfield, and, re-
378 Sankey's Story
ferring to this hymn, she said she knew that she had
been permitted to do a Httle good there. She also
told me that she knew that many a poor soul had
been comforted by this simple hymn.
O God, Our Help
Words by Isaac Watts Music by H. W. Greatorex
"O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come."
This is Watts' version of the 90th Psalm. Its
use has been universal, and is one of his best com-
positions. It has been translated into many lan-
guages. As written by Watts it began, " Our God."
This was changed by John Wesley to " O God, our
Only a Beam of Sunshine
Words by Fanny J. Crosby Music by John R. Sweeney
"Only a beam of sunshine, but oh, it was warm and bright;
The heart of a weary trav'ler was cheered by its welcome
Fanny Crosby says : " It was a cold, rainy day,
and everything had gone wrong with me during the
morning. I reahzed that the fault was mine ; but
that did not help the matter. About noon the sky
began to clear; and a friend, standing near me said,
" There is only a beam of sunshine, but oh, it is warm
and bright;" and on the impulse of the moment I
wrote the hymn."
Only Remembered by What We Have Done
Words by Horatius Bonar Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Fading away like the stars of the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun."
Dr. Horatius Bonar, of Edinburgh, wrote the
words of this hymn, which I set to music in 1891. I
Of the Gospel Hymns 379
sang it as a solo in the Tabernacle in London at the
funeral of my friend, C. H. Spurgeon, the great Lon-
Precious Promise God Hath Given
Words by Nathaniel Niles Music by P. P. BUss
"Precious promise God hath given
To the weary passer by."
This well-known hymn was written by Mr.
Nathaniel Niles, a resident of Morristown, N. J., and,
at that time a lawyer in New York City. He was
born at South Kingston, R. L, 1835. The verses
were composed on the margin of a newspaper in the
railway car one morning while on his way to business.
The tune was written by P. P. Bliss, and published
in his Gospel Songs in 1874, and later furnished by
him for Gospel Hymns. I soon afterward published
it in Sacred Songs and Solos, in England, where it
became one of the most useful hymns in connection
w4th our meetings. Mr. Moody often requested it to
be sung in connection with his lectures on ''The Pre-
Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
Words by Dorothy A. Thrupp Music by Wm. B. Bradbury
"Saviour, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tend'rest care."
This beautiful little hymn is supposed to have
been written by Miss Dorothy A. Thrupp, and first
pubhshed in Aliss Thrupp's Hymns for the Young,
in 1836. The music by which it is now so well known,
both in America and Great Britain, was written by
WiUiam Bradbury. It was much used in our meetings
as a congregational hymn in connection with the sub-
ject of the Good Shepherd.
380 Sankey's Story
Saviour! Visit Thy Plantation
Words by the Rev. John Newton Music (Rathbun) by Ithamar Conkey
"Saviour! visit Thy plantation;
Grant us, Lord, a gracious rain."
In his youth Mr. Newton was employed in plant-
ing lime and lemon trees on a plantation in Africa.
One day his master sneeringly said to him : " Who
knows but by the time these trees grow up and bear,
you may go home to England, obtain the command
of a ship, and return to reap the fruit of your
labors ? " John Newton really did return, in com-
mand of a ship, and with some hope of heaven in his
heart, and saw the trees he had planted grown up
and bearing fruit.
At the age of eleven he went to sea with his
father. He drifted away from his pious mother's
teachings and grew into an abandoned and Godless
sailor. He was flogged as a deserter from the navy,
and for fifteen months he lived, half-starved and ill-
tieated, on the above mentioned plantation, imder a
slave-dealer. His Christian belief matured while in
command of a slave-ship. He soon became an ardent
worker for Christ. In 1805, when no longer able to
read his text, his reply when pressed to discontinue
preaching, was : " What, shall the old African blas-
phemer stop while he can speak?" He was a Hfe-
long friend of the great hymn-writer, William Cow-
per, and himself wrote a large number of hymns.
" Saviour, Visit Thy Plantation " is usually sung
to the tune '' Rathbun," written by Ithamar Conkey.
Sun of My Soul
Words by John Keble Music by Peter Ritter, 1798
"Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear,
It is not night if Thou be near."
This is taken from Mr. John Keble's evening
Of the Gospel Hymns 381
hymn, which originally consisted of fourteen verses
and was published in '' The Christian Year " in 1827.
It was based upon the words found in Luke 24: 29,
"• Abide with us ; for it is toward evening and the day
is far spent." Keble was bom in Gloucestershire,
1792, and died in 1866.
The old English tune to which the hymn is sung
was written in 1798.
Sweet Hour of Prayer
Words by the Rev. W. W. Walford Music by Wm. B. Bradbury
"Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care."
This most useful hymn was set to music by Wil-
liam Batchelder Bradbury. He was bom in October
6, 1816, and died in New Jersey, January 7, 1868. He
pubHshed a large number of Sunday-school hymn-
books, which had a very large circulation in the
When quite a young man, I attended a musical
convention conducted by Mr. Bradbury in the State
of Ohio, and there received my first impressions as
to the power of sacred song.
Take Time to be Holy
Words by W. D. Longstaflf Music by Geo. C. Stebbins
"Take time to be holy,
Speak oft with thy Lord."
Mr. Longstaif, of Sunderland, England, wrote
this hymn after hearing a sermon at New Brighton
on " Be ye holy as I am holy." " Take Time to be
Holy " was first published in Gospel Hymns and
Sacred Songs and Solos, in 1891. It has been much
used in holiness-meetings, both in this country and
Great Britain. Mr. Longstaff was the treasurer of
382 Sankey's Story
Bethesda Chapel, in Sunderland, when we held our
first meetings in that town, and was the first one to
write anything in relation to our meetings in Great *
Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand
Words by Henry Alford, D.D. Music by Ira D. Sankey
"Ten thousand times ten thousand, in sparkling raiment
The armies of the ransomed saints, throng up the steeps
This is considered the best of Dean Alford's
hymns. It was written in 1866 and published in the
*' Year of Praise " in 1867. Beside the open grave
of the author, January 17, 1871, the hymn was sung
with intense emotion by his sorrowing friends.
The Anchored Soul
Words by the Rev. W. O. Gushing Music by the Rev. Robert Lowry
The words of this hymn were written by the Rev.
W. O. Gushing, and the music by the Rev. Robert
Lowry. It has become very popular among sailors
and seafaring men.
The Eye of Faith
Words by the Rev. J. J. Maxfield Music by W. A. Ogden
"I do not ask for earthly store
Beyond a day's supply."
This was a favorite hymn of Mr. Moody during
our last campaign in Scotland. As we went from
place to place the choirs which had sung at our meet-
ings would often gather at the stations and sing this
and other hymns at our parting.
The words were written by Dr. J. J. Maxfield,
and the music by W. A. Ogden.
Of the Gospel Hymns 383
The Half Was Never Told
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"Repeat the story o'er and o'er,
Of grace, so full and free."
This was suggested to Mr. Bliss by his reading
notes, written by his friend and sometime fellow-
laborer in gospel work, James M. Brookes, of St.
Louis, upon the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solo-
mon. This was one of my most popular solos.
The Handwriting on the Wall
Words and Music by Knowles Shaw Arr. by Ira D. Sankey
"At the feast of Belshazzar and a thousand of his lords,
While they drank from golden vessels, as the Book of
This hymn was written by Knowles Shaw on the
experience of King Belshazzar of Babylon. I ar-
ranged it to music from a tune written by the author
of the words, and frequently sang it as a solo.
The Light of the World is Jesus
Words by P. P. Bliss Music by P. P. Bliss
"The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin,
The light of the world is Jesus,"
Both the words and music of this hymn were
WTitten by P. P. Bliss in the summer of 1875, at his
home in Chicago. It came to him altogether, words
and music, one morning while passing through the
hall to his room, and was at once written down.
The Lily of the Valley
Words by C. W. Fry Arr. by Ira D. Sankey
"I've found a friend in Jesus, —
He's everything to me."
A young Jewess had been converted in London
384 Sankeys Story
through her German governess. She had been for-
bidden to read the New Testament by her parents,
who were ardent Jews; but while reading Isaiah 53
she found the Messiah, and was soon expelled from
her home. She then went to Germany, and herself
acted as governess for several years. When she
heard of Mr. Moody's work at Northfield, she de-
cided to go there. Having been entertained in Lon-
don for a few weeks by Mr. Denny, a prominent lay-
man, this gentleman asked me one day in London, as
I was about to sail for America, if I would see her
safely across the ocean, which I promised to do. In
Louisville she first saw Mr. Moody. On leaving
Louisville she went to New York and appHed to the
Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions for appoint-
ment as a foreign missionary. There being some
delay in accepting her application, she decided to go
with the Rev. Hudson Taylor, whom she had met at
Northfield. On arriving in China, she adopted the
garb of the Chinese women, and became a faithful
and useful worker. After two years she was mar-
ried to a missionary from Scotland. They are still
engaged in missionary work in Northern China.
" Auntie, please sing ' Lily of the Valley,' said
a little girl of six, as she stood by the piano in com-
pany with a number of other children on a Sunday
evening. In a few minutes all present were singing:
"I've found a friend in Jesus, He's everything to me;
He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;"
and the little one, who knew only the chorus, joined
in heartily with the rest, her clear voice ringing out
sweetly amid those of the older children. When her
auntie would play on the piano she would always
run to her and beg for one or another of her favorite
Of the Gospel Hymns 387
hymns, but her favorite was, " Lily of the Valley,"
and she never tired of hearing it. The following
winter was a very severe one, and this little girl was
stricken with diphtheria. Nothing would soothe her
but to have her mother sing to her. Over and over
again the mother would sing all the songs she knew,
but specially '' The Lily of the Valley." One morn-
ing, soon after dawn, the child seemed to be a little
brighter, and tried to raise her hand, as though she
wished to speak. Tenderly the mother asked what
she wanted and the girl whispered, " Sing ' The Lily
of the Valley ' once more." With tears streaming
down her cheeks the mother attempted to sing the
first verse and the chorus. A smile broke over the
little one's face, and as her head dropped back on
the pillow her spirit went out into the bosom of Him,
who is indeed the " Lily of the Valley and the fairest
of ten thousand." Bitter indeed were their tears
w^hen they realized that their darling was no more ;
but their sorrow was lightened by the knowledge that
she was free from pain, and they will always treasure
with her memory the hymn she loved so well.
Mr. Fr\^ is one of the leaders of the Salvation
Army in London. In addition to writing the words,
he also set the hymn to music, and later arranged it
to slower time and published it in Gospel Hymns.
The Morning Land
Words by Ellen K. Bradford Music by E. H. Phelps (Arr. by Ira D. Sankey)
"'Some day,' we say, and turn our eyes
Toward the fair hills of Paradise."
This hymn was written by the author of the
music of "Over the Line," and first pubHshed in
sheet form in England, where I found it, and by per-
388 Sankeys Story
mission of the publishers arranged it for use in the
*' Sacred Songs and Solos " and '' Gospel Hymns."
It has been sung as a duet at funerals all over the
The Wondrous Cross
Words by Isaac Watts, Arr. Music by Ira D. Sankey
"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died."
This beautiful hymn was founded on Paul's word
in Gal. 6 : 14, " God forbid that I should glory, save
in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The author occupies one of the highest positions
among all the hymn writers who ever lived. Wesley
and Watts stand on the highest pedestal of fame to-
gether. Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and
was born at Southampton, 1674. He belonged to a
family of nonconformists, who were very pious and
godly people. He was educated by a clergyman in
his home city, and later by an Independent minister
in London. He became minister to an Independent
congregation in London, where he continued to
preach for fourteen years. In the year 1712 he paid
a visit to some friends in Hertfordshire, for the pur-
pose of regaining his health, which, on account of
excessive study, had suffered. While here Sir
Thomas and Lady Abney became so interested in him
and took such a liking to him that they insisted upon
his staying with them in their beautiful home. He
accepted their kind offer, and for thirty-six years he
lived in their house, being a constant source of joy
and blessing to his benefactors. It was here he wrote
many of the most useful and popular hymns now
used by the Christian churches throughout the world.
He died 1748. Just before passing away he said:
"If God has no more service for me to do through
Of the Gospel Hymns 389
grace, I am ready; it is a great mercy to me that I
have no manner of fear or dread of death. I could,
if God please, lay my head back and die without alarm
this afternoon or night. My chief supports are from
my view of eternal things, and my sins are pardoned
through the blood of Jesus Christ." In this happy
frame of mind the great hymnist entered into his last
At least a score of different melodies have been
written to the words, but Lowell Mason's " Ham-
burg " is no doubt the most popular.
Till He Come
Words by the Rev, E. H. Bickersteth Music by Dr. Lowell Mason
"'Till He comer oh, let the word
Linger on the trembling chords."
The author, the Rev. E. H. Bickersteth, says this
hymn was written to present one aspect of the Lord's
Supper which is passed over in many hymnals, **Ye
do show forth the Lord's death till He come."
Words by Wm. B. Tappan Music by Virgil C. Taylor
"'Tis midnight; and on Olive's brow
The star is dimm'd that lately shone."
The author of the words of this hymn, William
Bingham Tappan, was born at Beverly, Mass., Octo-
ber 29, 1794. He was a Congregational minister
and was engaged for many years in the service of
the American Sunday-school Union. The hymn was
first published in the author's *' Gems of Sacred
Poetry," in 1822, under the title, " Gethsemane."
Mr. Tappan died in his native state in 1849.
The music to which the hymn is usually sung
was written by Virgil C. Taylon
390 Sankey's Story
We Shall Meet By and By
Words by the Rev. J. Atkinson Music by Hubert P. Main
"We shall meet beyond the river, by and by, by and by;
And the darkness shall be over, by and by, by and by."
John Atkinson, D. D., a Methodist minister,
wrote this hymn on the death of his mother, in 1867.
This is another instance of a hymn being written out
of a deep and special heart-felt experience, and Hke
gold, the best comes from the greatest depth.
We Shall Sleep, but Not Forever
Words by Mrs. M. A. Kidder Music by S. J. Vail
"We shall sleep, but not forever.
There will be a glorious dawn."
Mrs. Kidder is believed to be the author of
about one thousand hymns, some of which have be-
come very popular. I set a number of her pieces to
music. This hymn and, " Is my name written there ? "
are perhaps her most widely known compositions.
She died in Chelsea, Mass., November 25, 1905, in
her eighty-sixth year.
While the Days are Going By
Words by George Cooper Music by Ira D. Sankey
"There are lonely hearts to cherish,
While the days are going by."
This, one of the most popular hymns to which I
have set music, was written by George Cooper. I
found it as a poem in a periodical in 1881, and imme-
diately wrote the chorus and composed the tune. It
has been much used and greatly blessed in Gospel
Of the Gospel Hymns 391
Work, for the Night is Coming
Words by A. L. Walker Music by I)r. Lowell Mason
"Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours."
This splendid work-hymn was written by Anna
L. Walker, a resident of Canada, and first published
in her " Poems," in 1868. It was suggested to her
by the words of Jesus : " The night cometh, when no
man can work." The music was written by Dr.
Lowell Mason. It was often used in our meetings
both in Great Britain and America,
INDEX OF AUTHORS
INDEX OF AUTHORS
Adams, Sarah F 226
Akerman, L. E 234
Alexander, Cecil F 319
Alford, Henry 382
Atchison, J. B 211, 231
Atkinson, J 390
Bachelor, Mary A 160
Bailey, Mrs. Urania Locke 302
Baker, Henry W 129
Baker, Miss M. A 252
Baring-Gould, S 244
Barlow, Joel 361
Baxter, Mrs. Lydia 298
Bennett, S. Fillmore 285
Bickersteth, E. H 3^9
Bilhorn, Peter P 287, 366
Black, J. M 340
Bliss, P. P., 124, 140, 150, 160, 163, 164, 167, 180, 190,
198, 210, 216, 256, 293, 321, 331, Z2>^, 339, 344, 346,
347, 362, 36s, Z72, 379, 383.
Bonar, Horatius 332, 350, 378
Bowring, Sir John 366
Bradbury, W. B 130, 159, 165, 201, 208, 316, 379
Bradford, Ellen K 248, 387
Brainard, Mary G 165
Brown, Mary 183
Buell, Hattie E 294
Callahan, Jeremiah J 119
Campbell, Emma 202
Carey, Henry 221
Carey, Phoebe 241
396 Index of Authors
Charlesworth, V. J .;.. ii8
Clephane, Elizabeth 296, 304
Cluff, S. O'Maley 178
Codner, Mrs. Elizabeth 159
Conkey, Ithamar 366, 380
Converse, Charles C 333
Cooper, George 390
Cornelius, Maxwell N 280
Cousin, Mrs. A. R 283
Cowper, William , 318
Crosby, Fanny J., 136, 150, 238, 242, 250, 257, 263, 271,
274, 325, 360, 365, 374, zn-
Gushing, W. 135, 160, 167, 228, 260, 320, 330, 370, 382
Demarest, Mary Lee 217
Doane, W. H., 142, 242, 250, 257, 263, 274, 292, 325, 365,
Doudney, Sarah 295
Duffield, George 283
Dykes, John B 209, 364
Edmeston, J 155
Edson, Lewis 129
Elliott, Charlotte 208
Englebrecht, J. C 317
Excell, E. O i 211
Fawcett, John 139
Frances, Grace J 364
Frank, Wilhelm 152
Fischer, W. G 184, 344
Fry, C. W 383
Gates, Ellen M. H 154, 176
Gilmore, Joseph H 165
Gordon, A. J 224
Grannis, S. M l66
Index of Authors 397
Grape, John T 121
Goreh, Ellen Lakshmi i88
Gould, J. E 207
Greatorex, H. W 378
Hall, Mrs. Elvina M 121
Halls, R. G 238
Hamilton, Eliza H 288
Hammond, E. P 2^^
Hankey, Miss Kate 184, 292
Hanna, Mrs. lone T 217
Harmer, S. Y. 259
Hartsough, Lewis i8i
Hastings, Horace L 276
Hastings, Dr. Thomas 261
Havergal, Frances R 291
Hawks, Annie S 187
Hearn, Marianne 331
Heber, R 212
Herbert, Annie 339
Holden, Oliver 237, 359
Hopper, Edward 207
Hudson, R. E 131
Johnson, Mrs. James G 141
Keble, John 380
Keith, G 177
Ken, Thomas 152
Kidder, Mrs. M. A 390
Kirkpatrick, William J 370
Knapp, Mrs. Joseph F 136
I^wry, Robert, 132, 160, 187, 228, 240, 279, 302, 341, 360,
Luke, Mrs. Jemima 317
Luther, Martin 117
39^ Index of Authors
Luther, C. C 216
Lyte, H. F 120
McDonald, William . .'. 259
McGranahan 126, 141, 147, 276, 280, 293, 330, 365, 374
Mackay, Mrs. Margaret 130
March, Daniel 166
Marsh, Simeon B 194
Main, Hubert P 148, 390
Mason, Lowell 212, 222, 226, 318, 324, 391
Maxfield, J. J 382
Medley, Samuel 361
Mills, Mrs. Elizabeth 335
Monk, William H 120
Monod, Theo 374
Moody, May Whittle 212
Moore, Thomas 362
Mote, Edward 316
Nageli, H. G 139
Neale, J. M 129
Needham, George C 315
Nelson, David 313
Newman, John H 209
Newton, John 380
Nicholson, James 344
Niles, Nathaniel 379
Norton, Nathaniel 146
Oakey, Emily S 336
Ogden, W. A 382
O'Kane, T. C 239, ^^2
Owens, Priscilla J 370
Palmer, H. R 143, 252, 351
Palmer, Ray 222
Pennefather, Mrs 22,2.
Index of Authors 399
Perkins, T. E 150, 202
Perronet, E 359
Phelps, E. H 248, 387
Phelps, S. D 279
Phillips, Philip 176, 238, 241
Portogallo, M 177
Prentiss, Mrs. Elizabeth 372
Presbrey, O. F 231
Proctor, James ..,.'. 189
Rankin, J. E 162
Rawley, F. N 366
Reed, Eliza 345
Reinagle, A. R 361
Rexford, Eben 359
Rice, Elihu 276
Ritter, Peter 380
Robinson, R 144
Root, George F 145, 260, 313, 370, 371
Rounsefell, Carrie E 183
Safford, H. G igo
Sammis, J. H 326
Sankey, Ira D., 118, 167, 178, 189, 193, 232, 247, 283, 288,
291, 295, 296, 301, 303, 304, 315, 320, 329, 330, 332,
339, 350, 359, 377, Z1% 382, 383, 388, 390.
Scriven, Joseph 333
Shaw, Knowles 383
Sherwin, William F 135, 363
Sleeper, W. T 348
Small, J. G 192
Smith, Mrs. Albert 275
Smith, S. F 221, 324
Spafford, H. G 190
Stebbins, George C., 146, 155, 188, 192, 216, 271, 277, 3I9,
335, 348, 381.
Stevenson, J 150
Stennett, Samuel 239
Stiles, E. P 135, 329
Stockton, J. H 242
Stowe, Mrs. Harriet Beecher yj^
Sullivan, A. S 244
400 Index of Authors
Sumner, John B 294
Sweney, John R 135, 378
Taylor, Georgiana M 238
Taylor, Virgil C 389
Thrupp, Dorothy A 379
Tomer, W. G 162
Toplady, A. M 261
Towner, D. B 326
Ufford, E. S 322
Vail, Silas J 234, 275, 298, 361, 390
Warner, Anna B 201, 240
Walker, A. \, 391
Walford, W. W 381
Walker, Mary J 193
Watts, Isaac 131, 375, 388
Webb, G. J 283
Webbe, Samuel 362
Webster, Joseph P 285
Wesley, Charles 129, 150, 194, 237
Whittle, D. W 142, I47, 212
Williams, W 363
Witter, W. E I43
Woodbury, I. B 119, 167
Wyeth, John i44
Yates, John H 301, 302
INDEX OF HYMNS
INDEX OF HYMNS
Titles in Smai^l Capitals. First lines in Roman.
A Mighty Fortress 117
A ruler once came to Jesus by night 347
A Shelter in the Time of Storm 118
A Sinner Forgiven 119
A Song of Heaven and Homeland 359
Abide With Me 120
Alas ! and did my Saviour bleed ? 131
All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name 359
All to Christ I Owe 121
All the Way My Saviour Leads Me 360
Almost Persuaded 124
Are You Coming Home To-Night 126
Arise, My Soul, Arise 129
Art Thou Weary ? 129
Asleep in Jesus 130
At the Cross 131
Awake, My Soul 361
Beautiful River , 132
Beautiful Valley of Eden 135
Beneath the Cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand.. 296
Beulah Land 135
Blest Be the Tie That Binds 139
Blessed Assurance 136
Brightly beams our Father's mercy 210
Brother, art thou worn and weary 147
Calling Now 140
Close to Thee 361
404 Index of Hymns
Comb Believing 141
Come, every soul by sin oppressed 242
Come, Great Deliverer, Come 142
Come, Sinner, Come 142
Come, Thou Fount 144
Come to the Saviour 145
Come Unto Me 146
Come Unto Me, and Rest 147
Come Ye Disconsolate 362
Consecration , 148
Dare to Be a Daniel 150
Dark is the Night 150
Depth of Mercy 150
Do you see the Hebrew captive kneeling 346
Down in the valley with my Saviour I would go 160
Down life's dark vale we wander 339
Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine 212
Even Me 159
Evening Prayer 154
Follow On 160
Free from the Law 362
From Greeland's icy mountains 222
From the riven Rock there floweth 315
Go Bury Thy Sorrow 160
God Be With You 162
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah 363
Hallelujah, 'tis Done 163
Index of Hymns 405
Hallelujah, What a Saviour 164
Hark ! the voice of Jesus crying — i66
Have you on the Lord believed ? 216
He Knows 165
He Leadeth Me 165
Here Am I, Send Me 166
Hiding in Thee 167
Ho ! my comrades, see the signal 168
Ho ! Reapers of Life's Harvest 167
Hold the Fort 100
Hold Thou My Hand 364
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty 364
Home of the Soul 176
How Firm a Foundation 177
I am far frae my hame, an' I'm weary aften-whiles — 217
I Am Praying for You 178
I am so glad that our Father in heaven 198
I am Thine, O Lord 365
I feel like singing all the time 277
I Gave My Life for Thee 180
I have a Saviour, He's pleading in glory 178
I have read of a beautiful city 231
I hear the Saviour say 121
I Hear Thy Welcome Voice 181
I know not the hour when my Lord will come 293
I know not what awaits me 165
I Love to Tell the Story 184
I Need Thee Every Hour 187
I think when I read that sweet story of old 317
I will sing the wondrous story 366
I will sing of my Redeemer 365
I will sing you a song of that beautiful land 176
Tll Go Where Thou Wouldst I Should Go 183
In the Christian's home in glory 259
In the Cross of Christ I Glory 366
In the land of strangers 332
In the Secret of His Presence 188
It Is Finished 189
It Is Well With My Soul 190
It may not be on the mountain's height 183
FvE Found a Friend 192
I've reached the land of corn and wine 135
4o6 Index of Hymns
Jksus, I Will Trust Thee 193
Jesus, Lover of My Soul 194
Jesus Loves Even Me 198
Jesus Loves Me 201
Jesus my Lord, to Thee I cry 287
Jesus of Nazareth Passeth By 202
Jesus Saves 370
Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me ! 205
Just as I Am 208
Knocking, Knocking 371
Lead, Kindly Light 209
Let the Lower Lights Be Burning 210
Let the Saviour In 211
Let us gather up the sunbeams 275
Light in the darkness, sailor, day is at hand 256
Lord, I hear of shovi^ers of blessing 159
Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole 344
"Man of Sorrows," what a name ! 164
Master, the tempest is raging 252
Missionary Hymn 212
Moment by Moment 212
More Love to Thee, O Christ 372
More to Follow 216
Must I Go, and Empty-Handed 216
My Ain CouNTRiE 217
My Country, 'Tis of Thee 221
My days are gliding swiftly by 313
My Faith Looks Up to Thee 222
My Father is rich in houses and lands 294
My hope is built on nothing less 316
My Jesus, I Love Thee 224
My Mother's Prayer 381
My Prayer Z72>
Index of Hymns 407
N^AR THE Cross 363
Nearer, My God, to Thee 226
No Hope in Jesus 228
Not Half Has Ever Been Told 231
Not now, but in the coming years 280
Not Now, My Child 232
Nothing But Leaves 234
Nothing but the blood of Jesus 377
Nothing, either great or small i8q
None of self and all of Thee 361
O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head 283
O Child of God Z17
O God, Our Help 378
O FOR a Thousand Tongues to Sing 237
O hear my cry, be gracious now to me 142
O safe to the Rock that is higher than I 167
O what a Saviour that He died for me 330
O word of words the sweetest 141
Oh ! do not let the Word depart 345
Oh ! tender and sweet was the Master's voice 248
Oh, the clanging bells of Time ! 154
Oh, to Be Nothing 238
Oh, to have no Christ, no Saviour 228
Oh, What Are You Going to Do ? 238
On Jordan's Stormy Banks 239
Once again the Gospel message 141
One More Day's Work for Jesus 240
One Sweetly Solemn Thought 241
Only a Beam of Sunshine 378
Only a Step to Jesus 242
Only Remembered by What We Have Done 378
Only Trust Him 2/^2
Onward, Christian Soldiers 244
Our life is like a stormy sea 301
Out of the Shadow-Land 247
Over the Line 248
Pass Me Not 250
Peace! Be Still! 252
4o8 Index of Hymns
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow 152
Pull for the Shore 256
Rejoice! Rejoice! Our King is coming 301
Rescue the Perishing 257
Rest for the Weary 259
Ring the Bells of Heaven 260
Rock of Ages 261
Safe in the Arms of Jesus 263
Saved by Grace 271
Saviour, breathe an evening blessing 155
Saviour, like a shepherd lead us 379
Saviour, More Than Life 274
Saviour, Thy dying love 279
Saviour, Visit Thy Plantation 373
Scatter Seeds of Kindness 275
Shall we gather at the river ? 132
Shall We Meet? 2^6
Shall You ? Shall I ? 276
Simply trusting every day 329
Sing them over again to me 347
Singing All the Time 2^7
Sleep on, beloved, sleep, and take thy rest 295
Some day the silver cord will break 271
Some one will enter the pearly gate 276
Something for Jesus 279
Sometime We'll Understand 280
Sowing the seed by the daylight fair Z2>^
Stand Up for Jesus 283
Standing by a purpose true 150
Sun of My Soul 380
Sweet By-and-By 285
Sweet Hour of Prayer 381
Sweet Peace, the Gift of God's Love , ^i
Take Me as I Am 288
Take my life, and let it be 148
Take Time to be Holy 381
Index of Hymns 409
TfiLL If Out 291
Tell Me the Old, Old Story 292
Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand 382
That Will Be Heaven for Me 293
The Anchored Soul 382
The Child of a King ! 294
The Christian's Good-Night 295
The Cross of Jesus 296
The Eye of Faith 382
The Gate Ajar for Me 298
The Half was Never Told 383
The Handwriting on the Wall 383
The Harbor Bell 301
The King is Coming ! 301
The Light of the World is Jesus 383
The Lily of the Valley 383
The Lord's Our Rock, in Him we hide 118
The Mistakes of My Life 302
The Model Church 2QZ
The Morning Land 387
The Ninety and Nine 304
The Shining Shore 313
The Smitten Rock 315
The Solid Rock 316
The Sweet Story of Old 317
The Wondrous Cross 388
There comes to my heart one sweet strain 287
There is a Fountain 318
There is a gate that stands ajar 298
There is a Green Hill Far Away 319
There were ninety and nine that safely lay 304
There'll be no Dark Valley 320
There's a land that is fairer than day 285
There's a Light in the Valley 321
There's a Stranger at the door 211
This loving Saviour stands patiently 140
Through the valley of the shadow I must go 321
Throw Out the Life-Line 322
'Tis Midnight 389
Till He Come 389
'Tis the promise of God full salvation to give 163
To the hall of the feast came the sinful and fair 119
To the Work 325
To-Day the Saviour Calls 324
Trust and Obey 326
Trusting Jesus, That is All 329
4IO Index of Hymns
Under His Wings 330
Verily, Verily ..330
Waiting and Watching for Me 331
We Shall Meet By and By 390
We speak of the land of the blest 335
We Shall Sleep, But Not Forever 390
Welcome ! Wanderer, Welcome ! 332
Well, wife I've found the model church 303
What a Friend We Have in Jesus 333
What means this eager, anxious throng? ; 202
What Must it be to be There ? 335
What Shall the Harvest Be ? 336
When Jesus Comes 339
When my final farewell to the world I have said 331
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way 190
When the Mists Have Rolled Away 339
When the Roll is Called Up Yonder 340
When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound 345
When we walk with the Lord 326
Where is My Boy To-Night? 341
While the Days Are Going By 390
While Jesus whispers to you 142
Whiter Than Snow 344
Whosoever heareth, shout, shout the sound 344
"Whosoever Will" 344
Why Not To-Night ? 345
Windows Open Toward Jerusalem 346
Wonderful Words of Life 347
Work, for the Night is Coming 391
Ye Must Be Born Again 348
Yet There is Room 350
Yield Not to Temptation 351